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

18 October 2001: ENGLISH ONLY



Bangkok, 16-18 October 2001


A. Background

1.                  The East Asia and the Pacific Regional Consultation for the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children was held at Bangkok from. 16 to 18 October 2001.  The Regional Consultation was co-organized by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), ECPAT International, and Save the Children Alliance for the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in cooperation with the Government of Japan.

2.                  The Regional Consultation was one of a series of six being organized worldwide.  The outcome of the Regional Consultation would be presented at the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, which would be hosted by the Government of Japan in Yokohama, from 17 to 20 December 2001.  The Second World Congress was being co-organized by UNICEF, ECPAT International and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

3.                  At the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children held at Stockholm in 1996, Government leaders had undertaken a joint commitment to further the protection of children from commercial sexual exploitation, sex tourism, trafficking and pornography.  All participating governments had adopted the Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for Action against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and confirmed their agreement to establish country focal points and to develop national plans of action by the year 2000.

B.     Objectives

4.                  The objectives of the Regional Consultation were to:

(a)               Review progress in the implementation of the Stockholm Agenda for Action since the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in 1996 and identify gaps in action;

(b)               Highlight and share “good practices” being undertaken by Governments, non-governmental partners and international organizations;

(c)                Identify priority concerns for further action;

(d)              Formulate a Regional Commitment and Action Plan that would be presented to the Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, to be hosted by the Government of Japan in Yokohama from 17 to 20 December 2001.

C.    Attendance

5.                  The Regional Consultation was attended by 252 representatives from the following:

(a)               Governments of East Asia and the Pacific: Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Macao, China, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Thailand, United States of America, Vanuatu and Viet Nam.  Representatives from the following Governments also attended: Belgium, Holy See and Sweden.

(b)               United Nations bodies and specialized agencies: United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UN/ODCCP), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Bank (WB), World Health Organization (WHO), and World Tourism Organization (WTO).

(c)                Inter-governmental organizations: Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

(d)              Non-governmental organizations:  Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women (GAATW), Thailand; International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Malaysia, and NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Children, Switzerland.

(e)               Other entities:  Agir Pour les Femmes en Situation Precaire (AFESIP), Cambodia; Asian Research Center for Migration (ARCM), Thailand; Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Australian Embassy, Thailand; Cantho Charitable Institution, Viet Nam; Cambodian Centre for the Protection of Children’s Rights (CCPCR), Cambodia; Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canadian Embassy, Thailand; Center for the Protection of Children’s Rights Foundation (CPCR), Thailand; Center for Study and Child Protection (PKPA), Indonesia; Child Rights Foundation, Cambodia; Child Rights, Republic of Korea; Children Rights Committee, Cambodia; Child Workers in Asia (CWA), Thailand; Chulalongkorn University, Thailand; Church World Service, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom, Thailand; Duang Prateep Foundation, Thailand; ECPAT Australia; ECPAT Japan-Kansai, Japan; ECPAT Japan-STOP, Japan; ECPAT New Zealand; ECPAT Philippines; ECPAT Prevention Project, Thailand; Fight Against Child Exploitation (FACE), Thailand; Forum Komunikasi Perempuan Timor Loro Sae (FOKUPERS), Timor; Good Shepherd Sisters, Thailand; International Justice Mission, Thailand Justice Center, Thailand; International Save the Children Alliance, Thailand; Japan Foundation Bangkok, Thailand; Kaugmaon Foundation, Philippines; KKSP Foundation, Indonesia; Lihuk Incorporated, Philippines; Malaysian Child Resource Institute, Malaysia; Malaysian National Council for Child Welfare, Malaysia; National Commission for Child Protection (KOMNAS-PA), Indonesia; National Council for Child Youth Development of Thailand (NCYD), Thailand; Philippine Educational Theater Association, Philippines; PREDA Foundation, Philippines; Regional Working Group on Child Labour (RWG-CL), Thailand; SAMIN Foundation, Indonesia; Save the Children Alliance, Thailand; Save the Children Myanmar; Save the Children Sweden, Thailand and Viet Nam; Save the Children Fund, UK (SEAPRO), Thailand; Stifung Kinderdorg Pestalozzi (SKIP), Cambodia; Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Sweden; Tearfund, Cambodia; Terre des Hommes, Thailand and Viet Nam; University of the Philippines; World Vision Development Foundation, Philippines; World Vision Foundation of Thailand; World Vision Myanmar, Thailand.

(f)                 Observers:  ECPAT International, Thailand and United Kingdom; Center for Study and Child Protection (PKPA), Indonesia; University of Calgary; Tourism Authority of Thailand; Atma Jaya Catholic University, Indonesia; Thai Private Sector Organization, Thailand; Ray of Hope, Nepal; Project NGO Coordination – addressing Child Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation, Thailand; Asia Foundation, Thailand; SEAFILD, Thailand; IAP-TWE, Cambodia; Community Theatre Project, Thailand; Mediaset, Italy; UN-IAP Cambodia.


6.                  The Executive Secretary of ESCAP, the Regional Representative of UNICEF, the Executive Director of ECPAT International, and representatives of the Government of Japan and the Save the Children Alliance for the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child, participated in the opening of the Regional Consultation.  They delivered opening statements and joined in a special ceremony for the lighting of candles whose flames symbolized regional commitment and solidarity in the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

7.                  The Gabfai Theatre Group, Community Theatre Project of the National Council for Child and Youth Development, Thailand, performed an excerpt of their play entitled “Looking for Heaven.”  The performance highlighted the role of children and youth in raising awareness, through drama, of the problems of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.


8.                  The Regional Consultation elected Ms Merceditas N. Gutierrez, Under Secretary, Department of Justice, Government of the Philippines as Chairperson, and elected, in absentia, Ms Angelina Tuara, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Government of the Cook Islands as Vice-Chairperson.


9.                  The programme for the Regional Consultation is contained in Annex II.

10.                  The following presentations were made under the following substantive agenda items:

·        Agenda item 4: From Stockholm to Yokohama: the Stockholm Congress, the Yokohama Congress, and relevant UN Conventions.

Presentations by Mr Vitit Muntarbhorn, Professor, Faculty of Law, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand (former General Rapporteur of the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Stockholm, 1996) on “From the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation to the Second World Congress: A Track Record for the East Asia and the Pacific Region?”; and Mr Takashi Ashiki, Chief, International Conference Support Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Japan, on “Second World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Yokohama, Japan, 17-20 December 2001).

·        Agenda item 5: Lessons learned following Stockholm: The Situation in East Asia and the Pacific.

ECPAT report on update on the “State of implementation of the Stockholm Agenda for Action in the East Asia and the Pacific region” by Ms Muireann O Briain, Executive Director, ECPAT International, and Ms Chitraporn Vanaspongse, Regional Officer, ECPAT International.

Panel discussion on achievements by governments, chaired by Mr Gamini Abeysekera, UNICEF, with presentations by:

·        Ms You Ay, State Secretary for Women’s and Veteran’s Affairs, Government of Cambodia, on “National Five Year Plan of Action against Commercial Sexual Exploitation”;

·        Mr Do Ngoc Le, Director for International Relations, Viet Nam Committee for Protection and Care of Children, on “Protection through legislation”;

·        Mr Saneh Chankrachang, Director of Youth Policy and Planning Division, National Youth Bureau, Thailand, on “Government and NGO cooperation”; and

·        Ms Lourdes Balanon, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Programmes and Standards, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Government of the Philippines, on “A Multi-sectoral approach to recovery and reintegration.”

·        Agenda item 6: Obstacles and challenges to combating commercial sexual exploitation of children: “Good practices.”

Talk show on good practices by non-governmental organizations, chaired by Ms Nanda Krairiksh, ESCAP, with presentations by:

·        Mr Phil Marshall, Project Manager, UN Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking in Women and Children in the Mekong Subregion, on key elements of a good practice”;

·        Ms Ampha Suwanrat, Director, People Innovation and Education, Pan Pacific Hotel, Bangkok, on the “Youth Career Development Project”;

·        Ms Anjanette T. Saguisag, Attorney and Area Coordinator, ECPAT-Philippines-Cebu Office on “Tinggog Sa Kabataan (radio programme for youth by youth”; and

·        Ms Christine Beddoe, Child Wise Tourism Manager, ECPAT Australia, on “Child Wise Tourism: Preventing the commercial sexual exploitation of children through tourism industry training.”

11.                  The participants commended the high quality and usefulness of the presentations, which stimulated a lively exchange of experiences and comments.  The main points from the exchange are summarized below:

·        The sex industry was lucrative.  The trafficking of women and children was recognized as an organized crime at national and transnational levels in the region.  Traffickers had the resources to use new technology in their operations. 

·        Poverty reduction was crucial to efforts to prevent CSEC.  Key elements to ensure better quality care for more children to survive and develop included free education provision, good legislation and reproductive health services.  Nevertheless, as was evident in Thailand’s experience, poverty and lack of education were not the only factors in CSEC.

·        There was no single model for national focal points for CSEC. An existing focal point (e.g., a ministry of social welfare or a national committee on child rights) could be identified or a new one could be established.

·        Similarly, some countries had specific action plans for CSEC, while others had general child or youth development plans that contained CSEC provisions.  The main merits of specific CSEC plans for children, separate from those for women, were that boys could be covered, there would be no issue regarding consent, resources could be specifically targeted, and monitoring could be more focused.  All children 18 years and under had to be protected absolutely from child prostitution, pornography and trafficking.

·        Complacency was a major challenge that rendered current efforts harder than the situation five years ago.  It was necessary not just to improve access to education, but also to strengthen socialization processes, build families, empower communities and societies that would be more humane, and more child- and gender-sensitive.

·        The importance of international instruments to combat CSEC was emphasized.  These included the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography; Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its Optional Protocol; and ILO Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.

·        Employers’ organizations and workers’ organizations, including those in the transport and service sectors, had a useful support role to play in fighting sexual exploitation among children.   However, was the cooperation among the diverse sectors, governments and organizations as strong and as effective as the collaboration among sex industry operators?

·        Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) were a useful mechanism for expediting cooperation between diverse groups and across national borders.

·        Prevention was of utmost importance, especially as it was very difficult for sexually abused and exploited children to recover and reintegrate.  Further, many sexually abused children were likely, in turn, to become adult abusers.

·        Greater efforts needed to be focused on reducing the demand for sex with children.  That included fighting cultural tendencies towards male domination and encouraging certain types of men to change their perceptions of, and practices with, children as sex objects.

·        There was a need for improved law enforcement, including training of personnel in social work skills so that they could respond more sensitively to child victims.  Protection of children would require training for parents concerning their responsibilities towards children.  Communities also needed training on how to better protect child victims.

·        Internet promotion of child sex tourism was a serious issue.  Governments faced great difficulty in their control of the Internet.  Software programmes (e.g., “rsac” and “icra”) existed that filtered and blocked out undesirable information.  Such programmes were often pre-installed in many new computers.

·        In some higher income societies, a new phenomenon had emerged: teenagers who were not from impoverished families, and who had not been trafficked from rural areas, but who engaged in sex for remuneration.  In that situation, negative perceptions of children as “delinquents” should be avoided.  

·        The special vulnerability of the children of minority groups warranted more attention as the risk factors that such groups faced (e.g., anomalous citizenship status) affected them differently from the children of mainstream groups.  Ethnic minority children faced multiple forms of exploitation, abuse, and discrimination.

·        Young people and other participants should encourage their respective governments to attend the Second World Congress, to be hosted by the Government of Japan in Yokohama, Japan from 17 to 20 December 2001.  Governments should include young people in their delegations to Yokohama.

12.                  The representative of the Government of China expressed her Government’s appreciation of ECPAT’s contributions to addressing the CSEC issue, and of the ECPAT presentation.  It indicated that it would strengthen its collaboration with ECPAT, ESCAP and UNICEF on this issue, including through the sharing of information.


13.                  Under agenda item 7, the Regional Consultation divided into the following six working groups to formulate the Regional Commitment and Action Plan.

·        Preamble and Commitment;

·        Child Participation;

·        Prevention;

·        Protection;

·        Recovery and reintegration;

·        Coordination.

14.                  The outcomes of the deliberations under agenda items 4, 5 and 6, as well as the discussions under agenda item 7, fed into the formulation of the Regional Commitment and Action Plan, as annexed to this report.

15.                  The following individuals represented the above working groups in the Technical and Drafting Committee:

Preamble and Commitment Group

Ms You Ay, Secretary of State, Ministry of Women’s and Veteran’s Affairs, Cambodia

Mr Le Do Ngoc, Director, Department of International Relations, Viet Nam Committee for Protection and Care of Children, Viet Nam

Child Participation

Ms Sybil Nandi Msezane, Youth Coordinator, ECPAT International, Thailand

Prevention Group

Ms Lourdes Balanon, Assistant Secretary and Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Undersecretary for Policy, Programmes and Standards, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippines

Mr David Feingold, Representative, UNESCO */

Protection Group

Ms Kesanee Palanuwongse, Counsellor, Social Division, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

Recovery and Reintegration Group

Mr Xu Yu, Third Secretary, Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China

Ms Hu Daohua, Official, National Working Committee on Women and Children, Under the State Council, China

Ms Li Nan, Assistant Permanent Representative to ESCAP, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Bangkok

Coordination Group

Ms Sokunthea Peng, Youth participant, Children Rights Committee, Cambodia

Young People

Ms Michelle G. Ong, Research Assistant, Psychosocial Trauma Programme, Center for Integrative and Development Studies, University of the Philippines, Philippines

Ms Vera O’Campo, Youth participant, ECPAT Philippines, Young People Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (YP-ACSEC), Philippines

Pacific Island Subregion

Ms Jane Tauarike Tuavera, Senior Sergeant, Cook Islands Police Headquarters, Cook Islands

 */ Elected by Group to provide technical support.


16.       Under agenda item 9, the following “open space” workshops on good practices were held:

·        Role of tourism and the travel business in fighting CSEC;

·        Actions to protect children from the dangers of the Internet;

·        Preventive approaches to trafficking in the Mekong Sub-region;

·        Community-based child protection strategies;

·        Making protection a reality through legislation and law enforcement;

·        Improving capacities for medical and psychosocial response;

·        Children as key partners.


17.                  The Regional Consultation adopted its Report on 18 October 2001, including the Regional Commitment and Action Plan, as contained in annex I of the Report.

18.                  On behalf of the delegates, Ms You Ay, Head of the Delegation of the Government of Cambodia, commended the co-organizers on the excellent organization of the Regional Consultation.  The Delegation of the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic presented the co-organizers with mementos of appreciation.

19.                  The Chairperson closed the Regional Consultation.