Request for Proposal: Developing Models of Engagement with Children in Advocating for Strengthened Protection from Child Sexual Exploitation

  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year

ECPAT International

Consultancy: Developing Models of Engagement with Children in Advocating for Strengthened Protection from Child Sexual Exploitation

January – July 2024 (apprx 30-35 working days)

ORGANISATIONAL CONTEXT

ECPAT International is a global network of organisations working together for the elimination of the sexual exploitation of children (SEC) in all its manifestations i.e., exploitation of children in prostitution, online child sexual exploitation, sale and trafficking of children for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism and some forms of child, early and forced marriage. The ECPAT Network currently consists of 126 members working at national and local levels in 105 countries.

The ECPAT International Secretariat coordinates the global work of the organisation and is based in Bangkok, Thailand. The Secretariat designs and implements global and regional level programmes, and undertakes programming, advocacy and research and facilitates a range of network initiatives.

Context of the Consultancy

ECPAT International has a long history of progressive action in realising participation rights for children and young people, including young survivors, and creating spaces and opportunities for children and young people to inform and influence action. However, much progress is still needed to meaningfully engage with children so that they can challenge the structures that perpetuate child sexual exploitation in all societies. ‘It is important to think more politically about children’s agency, empowerment and activism’.[1]

However, the child protection sector is faced today with challenges and barriers to adequately support children in their advocacy on child sexual exploitation and abuse, due to concerns about safeguarding, ethics and worries about re-victimization in cases of young survivors of child sexual exploitation. In this context, the rights of children to protection and participation are balanced and often protection supersedes despite understandings of the intricate correlation between all.

If ECPAT International wants to center its strategies around children’s perspectives and the realization of their rights, it is critical to be able to nurture an environment where children are empowered and supported to be engaged in advocacy efforts in ways that they feel comfortable with, some leading their transformative advocacy efforts to contributing to discussions, collaborating on advocacy projects, etc. This requires developing different models that are adaptable to contexts, conditions and situations where children’s voices and advocacy interests can be best leveraged in ways that are meaningful, safe and empowering.

Objective

The objective of this consultancy is to develop models of engagement with children (and young people) on child-involved advocacy in relation to child sexual exploitation issues. These models need to offer various options of engagement that can be adapted to children’s interests and appetites for activism, meaningful and empowering for the children, contextualized and scaled to different situations.

This will result in a menu of options and modalities of engagement with children, support for advocacy efforts and accompaniment in activism led by children directly. The various options should include

  • Different opportunities/ activities/ approaches for children (and young people) to inform, influence and/or lead
  • Different levels of collaboration, support and resourcing that could be offered by an organization like ECPAT/ its members
  • The flexibility required to meet children (and young people) needs, gender, age, abilities, interests and capacities – including engaging with young survivors and/ those children who may have been victimized but have not disclosed.
  • Different advocacy techniques and spaces, including online

This would allow ECPAT International to explore with children how they want to be engaged in advocacy, safely, ethically and through empowering and trauma-informed approaches.

To do this we would expect the consultant to

  • Conduct a thorough review of existing approaches, tools and practices in child-engaged and child-led advocacy and activism with a specific focus on child sexual exploitation including some (up to 10) qualitative interviews with practitioners and activists involved in advocacy with children to gather diverse learnings and experiences
  • Develop a methodology to co-create or validate the various -led advocacy models with children (and young people) piloted through ECPAT’s projects with children
  • Develop the various accompanying tools and guidance for the adults supporting children through these processes.
  • Train trainers and facilitators (online) on the guidance
  • Collect learnings and feedback from the pilots
  • Finalize the menus of advocacy options and tools

EXPECTED DELIVERABLES

A toolkit for child-led advocacy on child sexual exploitation. This should include:

  • An overview of various child led advocacy modalities in the context of child sexual exploitation
  • Various inspiring examples from children and young people
  • Methodologies and tools to engage in dialogues with children to explore the modalities that would best fit their interests, contexts, time or appetite towards advocacy and activism
  • Solid frameworks to explore with children safeguarding and ethical risks and measures to be considered to protect the safety of children involved, including when they could have experienced forms of sexual violence, yet allow them to exercise their agencies and appetites for engagement
  • A facilitator’s manual to guide practitioners in supporting and promoting children’s engagement in safe, ethical and empowering advocacy

It is expected that these assignments require 30-35 working days

CONSULTANT PROFILE

The consultant or (groups of consultants) need to have

  • Demonstrated experience in participatory approaches with children and young people
  • In-depth knowledge of child rights, child protection and in particular sexual exploitation of children
  • Experience in developing toolkits and methodologies
  • Strong understanding of various advocacy approaches, tactics and strategies particularly on issues of child sexual exploitation and with children’s participation
  • High ethical standards

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

– This is a home-based position using its own equipment. The consultants should be available for online calls including with different time zones in particular with Thailand where ECPAT International Secretariat is based.

– The Consultant is expected to act at all times in a manner consistent with the values of ECPAT International and in compliance with the organisation’s policies and procedures including Child Safeguarding Policy and the Code of Conduct.

[1] Veitch H. & Cody C. Understanding Sexual Violence against Children as a Rights Violation: engaging with the challenges. Children Unite.

How to apply

EXPRESSION OF INTEREST: please send to [email protected]

  • CV detailing relevant experiences
  • Daily fee in USD/ Financial proposal in USD

Mention in the subject header: Your name and “Children Advocacy”

Deadline: 14 January 2024

ECPAT International is committed to keeping children safe. The selection process reflects our commitment to the safeguarding of children.


Deadline: 14 Jan 2024