Impressions of my work with ECPAT Luxembourg
mercredi 6 décembre 2017 à 04:00
As a development professional, engaged in the child protection field, I am proud to be part of the ECPAT Luxembourg team that collaborates with partners in the South to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Our work in South Asia, West Africa and Luxembourg, aims at sensitising the public and actors responsible for the protection of children on the problematic of CSEC. In South Asia and West Africa our projects work with children, families, communities and governments to ensure that vulnerable children and those victims of CSEC are protected and their social and economic reintegration ensured. We work with governments to advocate for change and progress in legislation so that children are protected from sexual violence and exploitation and their basic rights ensured.
I have had the opportunity to work with ECPAT Luxembourg in both South Asia and West Africa – an experience I qualify as immensely meaningful. For five years in Nepal, as Head of the Coordination office in Kathmandu, I was confronted each day by ground reality, sometimes sweet, at other times bitter, but every moment intense and an opportunity to learn to do better, along with the team and dedicated partners. Working for and with child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation is a challenge. And an experience that brings deep changes in one’s perspective of the world. I have cried over stories of atrocities committed on children but also been inspired by stories of absolute courage and fortitude of those we see as « victims ». Every new experience has made a mark in my person and thus, I have « gained » as much as I have « given » as a professional to make the projects under our collective responsibility at ECPAT Luxembourg a success in terms of improving the lives of children.
Today, working in West Africa after a hiatus of a couple of years, I feel, once again, the intensity of emotions that working with vulnerable children brings and the crucial importance of actions to combat sexual exploitation of vulnerable children. While Africa is new terrain for me, the CSEC problematic there is an all too familiar one. And if my years in Nepal have taught me one thing, it’s that not enough is being done to address this problem. Not there, not in the countries in West Africa where we intervene. Not for victims and families directly and not regarding advocating for strong legislation to protect them. With ECPAT Luxembourg, we are striving to do both by mobilising actors involved in the protection of children. From families, to caretakers, to communities and to the government. In complex and challenging situations, we are making sure and steady progress and I hope we only go forward. Being part of this initiative that has made children’s protection from sexual exploitation its overarching goal has added meaningful dimensions to my work as well as to my person.
A warm hello to team members all over the world.
Communiqué par ECPAT