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UNICEF in support of:
Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

Regional Consultation: Bangkok

The East Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation for the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children was held in Bangkok from 16 to 18 October 2001.

Organized by UNICEF, ESCAP, ECPAT, and the Government of Japan, the meeting was attended by over 200 government leaders and representatives from UN agencies, civil society organizations and the private sector, as well as 30 young people representing the voices of the region's children and youth.

The meeting focused on reviewing regional progress in implementing the Stockholm Agenda for Action and on sharing 'good practices' in the areas of prevention, protection, recovery and reintegration, child participation, and coordination and cooperation in the fight against child sexual exploitation.

Other informative and in-depth discussions looked at obstacles and challenges to combating commercial sexual exploitation of children in East Asia and the Pacific, as well as lessons learned since the Stockholm Congress five years ago.

After three full days of discussions and workshops, delegates and youth representatives came together to cooperatively draft and approve the Regional Commitment and Action Plan of the East Asia and Pacific Region against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

Delegates from around the region used the action plan to commit their governments to deadlines for putting in place legal and social frameworks for preventing child sexual exploitation and assisting survivors. By agreeing to time-bound commitments, governments moved one step further towards action on critical initiatives in the region.

The action plan addresses a wide range of issues, reflecting the diversity in the region. It also recognizes that child sexual exploitation affects not only developing countries, but developed countries as well and that no country is untouched by this problem.

While a great deal of work has been done in the region to help limit the sex trade in children, there is still a need to overcome the problem of demand which is large and growing in the Asia-Pacific region. If the demand is not significantly reduced there will continue to be children who are trafficked for the purpose of sex.

Therefore, the East Asia and Pacific Regional Consultation developed a solid framework for tackling this issue in the region and shared innovative and effective approaches to preventing child sexual exploitation and assisting survivors.

The Regional Commitment and Action Plan of the East Asia and Pacific Region against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children can be found here.

The final report of the Regional Consultation can also be found here.