About Us


 

The Down to Zero Alliance is a joint effort of Terre des Hommes Netherlands, Plan Netherlands, Defence for Children - ECPAT, Free a Girl and ICCO Cooperation, under the leadership of Terre des Hommes Netherlands. It aspires to eradicate commercial sexual exploitation of children in 11 countries. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a strategic partner of the Alliance and the donor of this programme.

OUR CHALLENGE

Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a phenomenon that affects 2 million children worldwide. Children are sexually exploited, in return for cash or in kind payment to the child but more often to a third party. These acts are illegal, demeaning and threaten the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of children. In many cases, the victims are vulnerable girls: girls who come from broken homes, have faced domestic violence, child abuse, parental neglect, children that have dropped out of school and are pressured by peers or relatives. Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a complex problem with multiple drivers. Poverty, armed conflict, cultural norms and values, modern communication technology, increased mobility worldwide, lack of information, lack of political will and corruption are factors that make children vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and to impunity of their offenders. Ideally all these causes are addressed in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children.

WHAT WE WANT TO ACHIEVE

The Down to Zero Alliance aspires to eradicate the number of sexually exploited children in 11 countries in Asia and Latin America, through four strategic objectives:

  • Child victims and children at risk are empowered and act as agents of change and are able to protect themselves from (re)victimisation of commercial sexual exploitation, by identifying and reporting cases. They are educated, and engaged in campaigns and decision-making. They also have an active role in engaging their peers in raising attention for the problem and in decision-making.
  • Targeted communities are safer, offer better protection to child victims and can prevent children from becoming (re)victimised, by making the general public aware of the consequences of commercial sexual exploitation and challenging the taboo and shame of it.
  • Governments, law enforcement and the judiciary system apply policies, plans of action, budgets and protocols to effectively combat commercial sexual exploitation of children, through evidence-based lobbying, capacity-building, and contributing to setting up effective referral and monitoring systems.
  • Market leaders or branch associations of the private sector (tourism industry, ICT, transportation and extractives industries) are actively engaged in the protection of children against commercial sexual exploitation, through evidence-based advocacy, connecting business to other key actors, and working on the development adoption and implementation of internal policies or sector-wide codes of conduct.

OUR STAKEHOLDERS

The Down to Zero Alliance has identified four stakeholder groups that are key in achieving the objectives:

  • Governments and law enforcement agencies of the 11 selected countries;
  • Private sector actors operating in these countries, more specifically in the tourist, ICT and extractive industries;
  • Families and communities in selected geographic locations, usually hot-spots;
  • Children themselves: vulnerable children and child victims.

The joint contributions of these four stakeholders will lead to a lasting solution to commercial sexual exploitation.

WHAT WE DO

Through this programme, the Alliance is committed to make a significant and lasting contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals 16.2 “End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children” and 5.2 “Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation”. The five Alliance partners, the Ministry, more than 25 implementing partners and stakeholders will build on each other’s experiences, learn from each other’s best practices and develop innovative approaches. This will enable the organisations to act and react in changing contexts and address new phenomena of sexual exploitation. Learning between countries and the two regions (Asia and Latin America) will lead to more effective and sustainable approaches in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The Down to Zero Alliance is fighting commercial sexual exploitation of children by:

  • enabling children and youth to protect themselves and stand up for their rights. The Alliance will raise awareness on child rights and the risks of commercial sexual exploitation. They will ensure that children get access to child protection systems. They will provide appropriate services and support to child victims, and they will enable children to act as agents of change.
  • supporting and enabling communities to protect their children against commercial sexual exploitation. The Alliance will organise awareness raising campaigns, hold dialogues with community leaders and role models, and establish community based child protection mechanisms. In addition, the Alliance will initiate discussions with families and provide care and counseling to help their children escape from exploitative situations.
  • encouraging governments to execute relevant policies and laws, through the development and implementation of National Action Plans that can effectively address commercial sexual exploitation. Through dialogue with governments and law enforcement agencies, the Alliance will put commercial sexual exploitation higher on their agendas. Dutch embassies will be engaged to address the international aspects of the problem.
  • cooperating with the private sector, for example with tourism companies, to prevent and address commercial sexual exploitation of children. Codes of conduct are being developed with relevant companies to offer children the protection they are entitled to. Through dialogue with companies and their customers, the Alliance will call for detection and prevention of commercial sexual exploitation of children in their supply chain. Additionally, companies provide livelihood opportunities and education for families. The Dutch Embassies will provide contacts and resources where possible.

WHAT WE DO TOGETHER

The Alliance members are committed to work side by side, to share their knowledge and experiences, and to consistently strive for maximum impact. The Alliance members are committed to support and build the capacity of their local partners, who will implement and sustain the programme. They will enable key stakeholders in their fight against commercial sexual exploitation and complement their efforts where necessary. The Dutch Embassies in the 11 countries, will provide access to networks and resources. The Alliance will inform relevant stakeholders, international agencies, Dutch embassies actively about the objectives and achievements of the programme.

DURATION & FUNDS

The duration of the programme is 5 years, from January 2016 until December 2020. The total programme budget is 15 million Euro, for 5 years in 11 countries. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the donor of this programme.

COUNTRIES

Down to Zero is being implemented in 11 countries in Asia and Latin America.

Asia: India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand.

Latin America: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru.

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LATIN AMERICA

Bolivia

DtZ in Bolivia addresses CSEC, trafficking for sexual exploitation, CSEC mainly in transport, and lodging for sexual purposes.

ICCO works with implementing partner Munasim in four areas (La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Tarija).

Brazil

DtZ in Dominican Republic addresses CSEC, especially in travel and tourism.

Plan and DCI-ECPAT work with three implementing partners: CEDECA, ECPAT Brazil, Plan International, in the State of Bahia.

Colombia

DtZ in Colombia addresses CSEC, trafficking for sexual exploitation, CSEC in tourism and for sexual performance and in the extractives industry.

ICCO works with implementing partner Renacer in two areas (Bogota and La Guajira).

Dominican Republic

DtZ in Dominican Republic addresses CSEC, especially in travel and tourism.

Plan and DCI-ECPAT work with four implementing partners: MAIS, COIN, Caminantes, and Plan Barahona, in four areas (Puerto Plata, La Altagracia, South-East, and South-West).

Nicaragua

DtZ in Nicaragua addresses trafficking for sexual exploitation, CSEC in tourism and for sexual performance and in agribusinesses.

ICCO works with implementing partner Tesis in two areas (Managua, Costa del Pacifico).

Peru

DtZ in Peru addresses CSEC, trafficking for sexual exploitation, and CSEC in tourism.

ICCO works with implementing partner CHS in three areas (Lima, Loreto, Puno).

ASIA

Bangladesh

DtZ in Bangladesh addresses CSEC and trafficking for sexual purposes in border areas.

Free a Girl works with the implementing partner Rights Jessore in Jessore, Khulna, and three areas (Satkhira, Jhenaidah, Kushtia).

India

DtZ in India addresses trafficking for sexual purposes in border areas, and CSEC related to tourism and IT.

Free a Girl and DCI-ECPAT work in India with two implementing partners: Sanlaap and EQUATIONS, in three areas (West Bengal, Bihar, and Kerala).

Indonesia

DtZ in Indonesia addresses CSEC in travel and tourism, and CSEC online (through ICT and media).

Terre des Hommes, Plan and DCI-ECPAT work with six implementing partners: YEP, SCCC, Gagas, KPI Jatim, Bandungwangi, ECPAT Indonesia, in four areas (Batam, Jakarta, Surabaya, Lombok).

Philippines

DtZ in Philippines addresses CSEC in travel and tourism, CSEC online, and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Terre des Hommes and DCI-ECPAT work with four partners: FORGE, CLB, Bidlisiw Foundation, ECPAT Philippines, in three areas (Boracay, Bohol, Cebu Islands).

Thailand

DtZ in Thailand addresses CSEC in travel and tourism, CSEC online, and trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Terre des Hommes, Free a Girl, and DCI-ECPAT work with three implementing partners: FACE, AAT, ECPAT Thailand, in four areas (Bangkok, North, East, and North-East Thailand).