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Project to Strengthen the Protection of Child Victims and Risks of Sexual Exploitation (REPERES)

In West Africa, the issue of child sexual exploitation does not receive the same attention as in other environments. In the face of budgetary constraints, it is not a vulnerability specifically taken into account by the states of the sub-region, or in underfunded action plans. The challenge is to ensure that this violation of children’s fundamental rights is taken into account by protection systems and integrated into their initiatives.

The summary sheet of this project can be downloaded on this link



Despite the prevention and protection measures put in place over the past 20 years, studies show that the sexual exploitation of children for commercial purposes remains a serious and growing problem in all regions, including West Africa. Its manifestations evolve with changes in legislation and social environments and feed on other forms of exploitation making its eradication complex.



The inclusion of the problem by the protection systems and its integration into the initiatives concerning it will only happen if those in charge of the sub-region mobilize for this cause. This requires training work, so that they understand, adhere and implement the protection of children.

This will require strengthening the capacity of our partners to communicate and convince, which will be achieved through cross-learning and action-based learning.


Project objectives

The aim is to realize the right of children to live free from all forms of sexual exploitation in West Africa. In particular, it aims to enable a better integration of the problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children into child protection systems in West Africa.


Project activities

Result 1: The capabilities of the actors involved in child protection systems in Burkina Faso are strengthened on the ESEC theme

  • Networking activities of advocacy actors to increase the visibility of the phenomenon of child sexual exploitation in Burkina Faso
  • Developing advocacy tools for policy makers, victims and communities
  • Magistrates’ training on the 2014 law on the sale, prostitution and pornography involving children
  • Training of children’s professionals on child sexual exploitation

Result 2: ECPAT’s expertise and advocacy capabilities in West Africa are strengthened

  • Developing a review of best practices on initiatives to combat online child sexual exploitation and organizing an expert workshop on the issue
  • Strengthening the expertise of care actors in Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali on AGR management and family therapy
  • Organized three sub-regional workshops on advocacy strategies
  • Support for reporting on the implementation of actions to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children in three countries
  • Conducted a study on the situation of child sexual exploitation in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Production of capitalization documents



The direct beneficiaries are:

  • 30 magistrates trained on laws and 120 other legal or para-legal professionals (magistrates, rights teachers, Ministry of Justice officials, social workers, etc.) informed about the laws.
  • 800 actors from the protection chain (child welfare and police) trained at the ESEC
  • 30 people in charge of the prevention and integration of reinforced victims (from at least 12 local associations)
  • At least 8 sub-regional organizations providing enhanced leadership on ESEC



Burkina Faso: mainly in Ouagadougou

Côte d’Ivoire: the geographical scope of the study has yet to be clarified

Mali: mainly in Bamako

Niger: mainly in Niamey

Togo: mainly in Lomé

Benin: mainly in Cotonou



2015 – 2017 (36 months)



TOTAL BUDGET: €458,969

MAE Share:


ECPAT Share: €81,950

Other landlord: 159,676