It's an industry many of us tech citizens probably aren't aware of, but the older notions of people who peddle child pornography no longer hold true. With the unrelenting advancement of consumer electronics, the tools that child pornographers are using are becoming more and more sophisticated. As a result, an entire industry of child abuse imagery is on the rise and monetizing around the world.
ECPAT, which stands for "End Child Prostitution Child Pornography and Trafficking" is a network of organizations working towards eliminating child sex slavery and exploitation. Currently operating in 74 countries, ECPAT provides educational materials and supports local and worldwide law enforcement in their efforts to curb this behavior and those who profit from it.
This year they've been selected to win receive the 2013 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize as an organization that is "significantly alleviating human suffering". Hilton Prize juror Strive Masiyiwa, a leading African entrepreneur and humanitarian whose foundation supports vulnerable children throughout the continent, noted:
“Those of us on the jury were impressed by ECPAT’s leadership in addressing the explosion of child sexual exploitation and forging a worldwide coalition of NGOs, UN agencies, private sector and law enforcement entities to put a stop to these vile activities.”
The Hilton Prize is the world's largest humanitarian award, and ECPAT received $1.5 million to support their cause.
For more information on awareness and outreach, for educational materials, or to join the discussion, check out http://www.ECPAT.net. The full Conrad N. Hilton Foundation press release is posted below.
HILTON PRIZE -- WORLD’S LARGEST HUMANITARIAN PRIZE – AWARDED TO ECPAT
INTERNATIONAL, GLOBAL NGO LEADING FIGHT TO STOP COMMERCIAL SEXUAL
EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN
Prize spotlights atrocities of the child sex exploitation industry around the globe
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, August 1, 2013—ECPAT International, the leading global network of
organizations dedicated to stopping the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), has
been selected to receive the 2013 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize of $1.5 million, the
world’s largest humanitarian prize. This is the 18th year for the Hilton Prize given by the Conrad
N. Hilton Foundation to an organization that is significantly alleviating human suffering.
The announcement was made here today at a Consultation convened by ECPAT to develop an
action plan to combat child trafficking, prostitution and pornography in Africa which has been
growing due to increased tourism, family breakdowns, greater access to new technologies,
unsafe migration and widespread poverty.
“Each year 1.2 million children have their childhoods stolen from them by unscrupulous
traffickers and pimps, generating a $12 billion global market,” said Steven M. Hilton, president
and CEO of the Hilton Foundation. “ECPAT’s work has been pivotal in mobilizing the
international community to stop this evil commerce that does such harm to our children.”
Hilton Prize juror Strive Masiyiwa, a leading African entrepreneur and humanitarian whose
foundation supports orphans and vulnerable children throughout the continent, noted, “Those of
us on the jury were impressed by ECPAT’s leadership in addressing the explosion of child
sexual exploitation and forging a worldwide coalition of NGOs, UN agencies, private sector and
law enforcement entities to put a stop to these vile activities.”
Founded 20 years ago to halt child sex tourism in Asia, ECPAT today leads a global social
movement dedicated to ending child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of
children for sexual purposes. Its international secretariat based in Thailand provides technical
support and information, forms partnerships with key actors such as law enforcement and the
tourism industry, and is an international voice for children who are being exploited sexually for
commercial gain. Its 81 member organizations in 74 countries implement local initiatives to
protect children from sexual exploitation and help child survivors return to health and well-being.
“ECPAT is deeply honored to be selected to receive the prestigious Hilton Humanitarian Prize
by its distinguished jury. Over the last 20 years the name ECPAT has become synonymous with
action to stop the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The Hilton Humanitarian Prize is
welcome recognition of the pioneering role ECPAT has played to bring this issue to the world’s
attention. The Prize is also an impetus for ECPAT to accelerate action as we seek to build a
world where no child is a victim of child prostitution, child pornography or trafficking for sexual
purposes,” said Dorothy Rozga, Executive Director of ECPAT International.
To combat child sex tourism, ECPAT developed the Code of Conduct for the Protection of
Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism that now has more than 1,000 private
sector companies as members in 40 countries who have committed to this industry-led code. It
continues to devise solutions to tackle transnational challenges such as protecting children from
sexual exploitation leading up to, during and after major global sporting events. In 2011
ECPAT, along with private sector partner The Body Shop, collected more than seven million
petition signatures as part of the Stop Sex Trafficking of Children campaign, which were
presented to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the largest human rights petition on a
single issue ever submitted to the UN.
ECPAT also pioneered the empowerment of youth survivors and at-risk youth to run advocacy
campaigns, lobby governments and raise awareness to protect children from commercial sexual
exploitation. Through a global network of trained Peer Supporters and Youth Motivators in over
16 countries, ECPAT has recognized the important role that children and youth can play in the
fight against CSEC. This focus on meaningful youth participation also now includes a global
child and youth advisory council and a youth representative to the International Board.
ECPAT, in partnership with UNICEF and the NGO Group for the Committee on the Rights of the
Child, were the driving force behind three World Congresses to focus global efforts against
CSEC. A total of 122 countries initially signed the Stockholm Declaration and Agenda for
Action, committing their support to stop CSEC, and ECPAT has continued to monitor
governments’ commitments ever since.
“ECPAT was one of approximately 200 nominees received this year for the Hilton Prize,” said
Judy Miller, vice president of the Hilton Foundation and director of the Hilton Prize. She added,
“The Hilton Prize international jurors recognized the pressing need to put a spotlight on this
malignancy that is growing throughout the world.”
About the Hilton Prize
The 2013 Hilton Prize will be presented at the annual Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian
Symposium at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City on October 23, 2013. The Hilton
Symposium gathers policymakers and leaders in the humanitarian field to address the most
challenging issues facing the billions of people who make up the world’s most vulnerable
The Hilton Prize jury includes: Princess Salimah Aga Khan, international ambassador for
SOS Kinderdorf International; Catherine A. Bertini, professor of public administration,
Syracuse University, and former executive director of the United Nations World Food
Programme; Gro Harlem Brundtland, MPH, former director-general of the World Health
Organization and former prime minister of Norway; James R. Galbraith, director, Conrad N.
Hilton Foundation; Strive Masiyiwa, humanitarian, founder and executive chairman of Econet
Wireless; Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, director, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation; and Professor
Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize Laureate in economics and Lamont University professor at Harvard
About Conrad N. Hilton Foundation: The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944
by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his
fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently
conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic
homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS,
supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the
work of Catholic Sisters. Following selection by an independent international jury, the
Foundation annually awards the $1.5 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit
organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the
Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $83 million in the U.S. and
around the world in 2012. The Foundation's current assets are in excess of $2.2 billion. For
more information, please visit www.hiltonfoundation.org.
About ECPAT International: ECPAT International is a global network of organizations
dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). ECPAT focuses on
the three key manifestations of CSEC; child prostitution, child pornography and the trafficking of
children for sexual purposes. ECPAT began as a regional campaign in 1990 after researchers
at a tourism consultation in Thailand first exposed the degree to which the prostitution of
children was growing in parts of Asia. Today, the ECPAT network is comprised of an
International Secretariat based in Thailand, together with 81 member organizations in 74
countries. For more information, please visit www.ecpat.net