ECPAT is a network of organizations and individuals working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Established in 1990. The acronym stands for End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes. ECPAT has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).
ECPAT International is a global network dedicated to eliminating the commercial sexual exploitation of children or CSEC. The International Secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand. 73 ECPAT groups are located in 67 countries.
The ECPAT network is composed of the ECPAT groups who are its driving force. These groups range in financial strength and employee size as well as extent of geographical scope. Within the ECPAT network, groups have different roles and focus depending on the particularities of the country/region they operate in, whether in terms of the situation of CSEC, economic power, or cultural context.
ECPAT International identifies interested groups and encourages and assists them with information and skills sharing both nationally and regionally to increase the effectiveness of those working to combat CSEC.
Some areas in which ECPAT works include: prevention of and fight against child sex tourism and child trafficking, prevention of child pornography on the internet, support of direct services to children who are at risk or are victims of CSEC, assistance of law enforcement in investigating and prosecuting offenders, and the development and implementation of campaigns aimed at raising public awareness of CSEC.
The organization was awarded the 1998 Rafto Prize.
In 2006, ECPAT, with the support of UNICEF and the World Tourism Organization, launched "The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism."  The code encourages companies in the tourism sector to help in the fight against CSEC. Companies providing tourism services adopt the code and its 6 criteria aimed at fighting sexual exploitation of children. Hotel chains, tour agencies, and airlines around the world have committed themselves to incorporating the protection of children and fight against child exploitation into the business procedures and environment. Some efforts include: posting signs and posters letting customers know child sexual exploitation is a crime, educating and training workers to spot and report suspicious activities of customers, requiring vendors and employees to agree not take part in the exploitation of children under penalty of termination of employment or business relationship. Reporting is done by these signing businesses to check progress and share best practices.
ECPAT-Cebu is an extension office of ECPAT-Philippines, which is part of ECPAT International, a non-governmental organization. ECPAT-Cebu began operations in 1997, in response to the rise of child sex tourism in the province of Cebu and the neighbouring islands
By 1996, the rapid international growth of commercial sexual exploitation of children demanded a response. ECPAT widened its scope of work to encompass all issues of child sexual exploitation, including pornography and the trafficking of children for sexual purposes, and to broaden its focus to become a global campaign.
As part of the initial campaign, ECPAT approached U.S.-based children’s rights activists and organizations to establish a support committee. ECPAT-USA was established in 1991 by a group of children’s rights agencies, churches and other concerned NGOs as the the “U.S. Committee to Support the Campaign to End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism.” In 1994, ECPAT-USA was incorporated and gained non-profit 501(c)3 status. In 1996 they changed their name to End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes-USA.
The mission of ECPAT-USA is to protect all children from commercial sexual exploitation. They do this through education, advocacy and the passage and enforcement of strong laws. ECPAT-USA is a children’s rights organization.
They seek to end the sexual exploitation of children trafficked to the USA, American children trafficked within the USA, and children exploited by Americans abroad.
ECPAT-USA combats the child sex tourism by: 1) working with the private sector to adopt and implement the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism; and 2) education, training and awareness raising aimed at the travel industry, sex tourists, public authorities, elected officials and the general public about the harms of child sex tourism, the laws against it and what can be done to stop it.
ECPAT-USA published a report about trafficking of children to the U.S. for sexual exploitation in 2002 called “International Trafficking of Children to New York City for Sexual Purposes.” A report about trafficking of children to the United State for Domestic Servitude is currently underway.
New York City Community Response to Trafficking Project. On the basis of the report “International Trafficking of Children to New York City for Sexual Purposes, ECPAT-USA and its partner organization the International Organization for Adolescents sponsored the Community Response to Trafficking Project in New York City with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The CRT Project had a three pronged approach to combating human trafficking in New York City.
Conducted educational outreach and provided specialized technical support to raise awareness among community-based organizations, public and private service providers, members of at-risk communities, and other NGOs through training, community forums, and the development of appropriate outreach materials for at-risk communities; Fostered collaboration between community-based organizations, members of at-risk communities, NGOs, and law enforcement agencies through specialized training and roundtable discussions, developed the “Guidelines for Responding to Trafficking in Persons in New York City” for identifying trafficked persons and assisting them through the certification, and provided legal assistance to identify and assist trafficking victims. Provided specialized training to service providers, criminal justice agents and community groups about human trafficking, the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act and how to identify and assist victims.