What do we do in Luxembourg ?
vendredi 31 mars 2017 à 04:00
ECPAT Luxembourg is active in three different regions. We have projects in West Africa, in South Asia and in Luxembourg. In our last articles, we provided an overview of the work we do in West Africa and in South Asia, but what do we do in Luxembourg ?
In Luxembourg, our focus lays on raising awareness on sexual exploitation of children and on doing advocacy work. Sexual exploitation of children is a global problem, as often children in developing countries are abused and exploited by people coming from industrialised countries. Furthermore, with the modern internet and proliferation of smartphones, sexual exploitation online is a risk for young people independent of their location or background. We therefore need to promote responsible behaviour to protect children both here and abroad.
In 2015 ECPAT Luxembourg started a new project and created a youth group, ECPAT You(th) Together. We recruited young people between 15 and 25 years, who wanted to participate in the project to raise awareness on sexual exploitation of children. Some of their activities focus more on the regions where we have projects, with the goal to raise awareness among the population of Luxembourg in order to protect children in developing countries. One example of such an activity is a photo exhibition - “Visions of hope” - that they organised, choosing professional pictures taken of our projects in Mali and added their own reflections on these pictures. Other activities focus more on the general topic without a geographic limitation. They find it crucial to raise awareness on the risks of sexual exploitation online, as this is a phenomenon that can happen anywhere to anyone. Another major accomplishment of the youth group is their “responsible citizen’s pledge”, a document they distribute to gather as many signatures as possible for better prevention and protection of children and adolescents against sexual exploitation. They aim to reach a wide audience with their activities, but make an extra effort to inform other young people on these risks. This spring they will receive a training to be able to hold workshops in schools on the topic of sexual exploitation of children.
ECPAT Luxembourg uses a wide approach to inform different target groups on the sexual exploitation of children. We launch nationwide campaigns every two to three years to raise awareness on this issue. We regularly organise conferences and other events, such as film evenings with public discussions. We have a stand at various fairs, such as Luxembourg’s tourism fair “Vakanz”. We also participate in working groups and activities organised by the Cercle des ONGs, such as the “semaine EDD”, a week where different NGOs and associations organise activities under the general theme of “living sustainably”. Our youth group, ECPAT You(th) Together, will also participate in this week and hold both a film screening as well as a theatre workshop. ECPAT Luxembourg is also currently developing workshops in order to increase its development education activities in schools.
ECPAT Luxembourg does advocacy work on two levels, for the government and for the tourism industry. We write reports where we give recommendations to the government, such as the “NGO report on the implementation of the optional protocol to the convention on the rights of the child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in Luxembourg”. As for the tourism industry, both, LuxairGroup and the hotel group Accor signed “The Code”, a code of conduct for the protection of children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism. One of the criteria of being a member of “The Code” is to train one’s employees on the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and on how to report cases. ECPAT Luxembourg, as the local code representative, holds trainings for Accor and LuxairGroup and helps them to implement the different criteria of “The Code”.
Our goal is to reach a wide audience with our different activities and to break the taboo of the topic. We want to raise awareness and prevent sexual exploitation of children from happening by informing the public on the different forms of sexual exploitation that exist and by encouraging people to report cases they become aware of. We place a specific emphasis on working with young people in order for them to be able to protect themselves, to be informed and to spread the message to other young people. As the tourism industry is a key actor in the prevention of sexual exploitation, we value our collaboration with the major companies in this sector. Finally, we find it crucial to engage in advocacy at the governmental level as the government is responsible for the implementation of the European and international child protection measures against sexual exploitation.
Everyone is responsible for protecting children, which is why it is so important to raise awareness on the dangers that exist and the steps everyone can take to prevent sexual exploitation from happening. Together we can keep children safe.
Communiqué par ECPAT Luxembourg