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Defence for Children - ECPAT

The organisation

Defence for Children - ECPAT Netherlands is a Dutch non-governmental organization promoting children’s rights in the Netherlands and internationally. Children’s rights can only be realized/guaranteed when they are provided for in law and policy, and compliance in practice is monitored closely. Defence for Children uses the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments and jurisprudence as a foundation to ensure implementation of children’s rights and monitor compliance.

Defence for Children – ECPAT Netherlands is part of two international networks: Defence for Children International and ECPAT International. Defence for Children International focuses on justice for children on a variety of themes and ECPAT International is the world’s largest influencing network solely focused on ending sexual exploitation of children. In our organization in the Netherlands, both networks are combined into one children’s rights organization.

Our Work

Defence for Children - ECPAT Netherlands focuses on the themes of juvenile justice, sexual exploitation, inclusive education, family and alternative care, and migration. We also focus on two overarching topics that are integrated across all our programmes: child participation and inclusion & empowerment. Through direct legal advice, research, lobby and advocacy, strategic litigation, and capacity development, we aim to bring about a positive change in the lives of children in the Netherlands and abroad.

Internationally, Defence for Children - ECPAT Netherlands collaborates in programs and projects with Defence for Children’s national sections and ECPAT member organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East.

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Partnerships and Support

Defence for Children collaborates with children and young people, governments (ministries at national level and municipalities locally), law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, private sector actors, knowledge institutions and universities as well as fellow civil society actors. By sharing our knowledge, influence and experience, we can ensure a larger impact than we would be able to achieve on our own.

Financial support from our partners enables us to execute our projects for children’s rights. We are immensely grateful for the contributions from our  institutional partners such as the European Commission, the National Postcode Lottery, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, and other partners.

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How you can help

With our work and the Children's Rights Helpdesk, we are able to help children directly. However, we can only do so with the help of all our donors. Do you want to let your heart speak for children's rights and support our work in promoting and protecting these rights? With your financial support, we will put our hearts and souls into the protection of vulnerable children worldwide. Through your contribution you will protect the rights of children and help ensure a stable future for them. You can donate here. We thank you sincerely.  

Support our work

The Children’s Rights Helpdesk

Through our Children’s Rights Helpdesk, we provide direct legal information and advice to children, parents, lawyers, caregivers and others. We do this based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and domestic legislation and policy, and put the best interest of the child at the centre. In each case we determine if and how we can support. Sometimes legal advice or a referral is sufficient, in other case we reach out to government departments or agencies directly or write children’s rights briefs in support of a court case.

The information we collect from the questions and cases we receive provide us with insights into the challenges hampering the realization of children’s rights in the Netherlands. This is often a starting-point for researchand evidence-based lobby and advocacy to promote positive change.

Contact our Children's Rights Helpdesk

Our Children’s Rights Helpdesk is available from Monday until Thursday between 9 AM and 5 PM. On Fridays, the Children’s Rights Helpdesk is available between 9 AM to 1 PM. We encourage you to contact us by email: and to include your phone number in your email. You can also reach us through our contact form or by phone: +3171-516 09 80.

If you call us you will be connected to an answering machine and can leave a message with your phone number and/or email-address. A colleague will then contact you as soon as possible. We endeavour to get back to you within two weeks.

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More information

The organization has ANBI-status, this is a Dutch title for a Public Benefit Organisation. An organisation can only get ANBI-status if it is almost completely dedicated to serve the public benefit. ANBI organisations have certain tax benefits, such as the ability to receive tax free donations. Defence for Children - ECPAT Netherlands is a Dutch NGO registered at the Chamber of Commerce under the number 41208813.

For more information about the organisation, please have a look at:

In the Netherlands Defence for Children and ECPAT form one organisation

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