The commercial sexual exploitation of minors is a very insidious phenomenon because it is both illegal and clandestine. Moreover, children victim of such practices sometimes seem to be consenting. However, the sexual exploitation of minors is always a crime and it is our duty to say STOP! to this violation of children’s most basic rights!

Be aware

14645Any Belgian national (whether an adult or minor) found guilty of acts of paedophilia in a context of sexual exploitation outside Belgium remains eligible to prosecution in Belgium. Nationals of other countries are eligible to prosecution under the laws of their country of origin.

Of course, when we are abroad it is often because we are either on holiday or travelling for business purposes. For most of us, being faced with child sexual exploitation is unexpected, shocking and hard to believe. Unfortunately, this problem is very real, and we all have the choice of seeing things as they are and taking action at our own level.

Situations where you can help us and work with us

You are on holiday

A situation you might encounter:

  • You see an adult in the company of a local child and the nature of their relationship seems ambiguous.
  • Minors offer you services with a sexual connotation.
  • Adults, whether local or not, offer you the services of minors for sexual purposes.
  • You see leaflets, whether ambiguous or not, offering the services of minors for sexual purposes.

What should you do?

 

You are on a business trip

A situation you might encounter:

  • Your local business contacts offer you the services of minors for sexual purposes.
  • Your hotel’s bar or concierge desk offers you the services of minors for sexual purposes.
  • Minors offer you massage or other ambiguous services.
  • You see leaflets, whether explicit or not, offering the services of minors for sexual purposes.
  • You see an adult in the company of a local child and the nature of their relationship seems ambiguous.

What should you do?

  • Do not keep this shocking information to yourself: discuss it with someone you trust.
  • Decline any offer. If it is feasible, tell your local business contacts that what they are offering you is a crime that is punishable by law.
  • Notify your employer or line management, your hotel or the local police.
  • Contact the Belgian embassy in the country you are visiting. List of Belgian embassies and consulates abroad.
  • Notify the authorities via this website.
  • If you feel it is appropriate to take action, remain calm and do not endanger your life.

In all cases, beware of misunderstandings. Trust the professionals: they have the skills and knowledge to determine exactly what is going on or do everything that is necessary to properly investigate the matter. 

You are a professional in the tourism sector in Belgium or abroad

Your wish is to have your customers discover the sights and sounds of a country. Whatever the requests and offers professionals in the tourism sector may have to deal with, they understand that working in their field necessitates complete adherence to a solid code of professional conduct. For this reason, more and more professionals in the tourism sector are pledging to comply with The Code (EN).

A situation you might encounter:

  • A customer asks you, even implicitly, how to obtain the services of minors for sexual purposes.
  • Your customers or business partners notify you of cases of minors providing services for sexual purposes.
  • Minors or adults offer you, even implicitly, the services of minors for sexual purposes.
  • You see leaflets, whether explicit or not, offering the services of minors for sexual purposes.

What should you do?

  • Remind your customers that child sexual exploitation is outlawed everywhere in the world and that perpetrators may be prosecuted both abroad and in their country of origin.
  • Circulate information about the “I say STOP!” campaign.
  • Draw up a code of conduct for your organisation and circulate it as much as possible.
  • Notify the Belgian authorities (police, Belgian embassies) (list) or local authorities of reprehensible acts.List of Belgian embassies and consulates abroad.
  • Notify the authorities via this website.
  • If it is feasible, tell your contact persons that what they are offering you is a crime that is punishable by law.
  • If you feel it is appropriate to take action, remain calm and do not endanger your life.

In all cases, beware of misunderstandings. Trust the professionals: they have the skills and knowledge to determine exactly what is going on or do everything that is necessary to properly investigate the matter. 

You are a journalist

In the framework of a report abroad you witness suspicious behaviour with regard to children.

What should you do?

Upon your return to Belgium

It’s never too late to act! When you come back from a trip abroad, you can still say STOP!

What should you do?

  • Do not keep this shocking information to yourself: discuss it with someone you trust.
  • Report child sexual abuse to:
    • The Belgian police’s point of contact at www.ecops.be.
    • ECPAT on +32 2 522 63 23.
    • Your employer or line management.
  • Report what you saw on this website.

Be cautious and reasonable

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“Acting” does not mean physically intervening between supposed victims and potential criminals. The best way you can take action is to:

  • Write down the maximum amount of information.
  • Notify the professionals available to you: local police, Belgian police, embassy, tour operator, specialised NGOs.

Professionals are most qualified to take action based on the information you have provided.

Want to know more?

For more information on the sexual exploitation of children, please consult our file.