The following is a press release from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, headquartered in Agoura Hills, has selected ECPAT, the leading global network of organizations dedicated to stopping the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), 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.
“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.”
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," said Dorothy Rozga, Executive Director of ECPAT International. "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,”
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.
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. “The Hilton Prize international jurors recognized the pressing need to put a spotlight on this malignancy that is growing throughout the world.”