On 18 November 2016, ECPAT International, an NGO dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children, convened the first-ever global forum for adult survivors of childhood sexual exploitation at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. The event coincided with the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.
This landmark occasion provided adult survivors with a platform to share their experiences and provide recommendations directly to government advisors and human rights professionals. Fifteen adult survivors hailing from 11 countries led the plenary sessions on improving policies, refining procedures and sharing best practices before distinguished government advisers and policy professionals from 82 countries. Moreover, adult survivors unable to personally attend the forum observed the plenary sessions live. These survivors submitted comments, questions and critiques through digital channels, allowing the forum to be truly accessible for – and rightfully driven by – survivors of sexual exploitation.
QUO is proud to have assisted ECPAT with representing the voices of child survivors throughout the forum. The children themselves could not attend the forum for protection reasons, but it was nevertheless important that they express their perspectives. Using illustrations, paintings, poems and testimonies that ECPAT gathered from across the globe, QUO designed three immersive installation pieces, or towers, celebrating how children understand themselves as survivors and former victims. Each tower carries a distinct theme: the identification of child sexual exploitation, the recovery and reintegration of survivors, and the empowerment of survivors to take action. QUO also animated three videos highlighting the children’s pieces for those unable to view the installations in-person.
To conclude the forum, ECPAT officially launched its “Bill of Rights for Child Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse”, sharing it with government and NGO authorities across the globe. QUO also designed the Bill of Rights.
See the video below and peruse the Twitter hashtag, #SurvivorsForum, for photos of the event.
See Also: ECPAT Global Study on the Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism