Warm greetings. On behalf of the ECPAT International Board of Trustees, I am writing to congratulate PEaCE/ ECPAT Sri Lanka on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee celebration. The ECPAT Global Network is celebrating this important milestone together with our ECPAT colleagues in Sri Lanka.

ECPAT Sri Lanka was instrumental in the formation and development of the original ECPAT campaign, consisting of representatives from just four countries in Asia. Over the past twenty-five years, PEaCE, through its country-wide network, has been working to safeguard the rights of children and prevent commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Sustained advocacy and campaigning efforts by PEaCE have led to improved legislation and policies in Sri Lanka and its programmes help vulnerable populations and communities improve their socio-economic wellbeing. Over the years, responding to the emerging trends of CSEC, the work of PEaCE has evolved and expanded to include actions against the sexual exploitation of children online and other manifestations.

In 1991, the issue of child sexual exploitation was not openly addressed in Sri Lanka and PEaCE took on this issue when many turned a deaf ear or even recognised its existence. Today, we are seeing a shift in the political environment and the Sri Lankan government is making progress towards supporting civil society organisations in their efforts to protect children and promote networking and collaboration. Clearly this transformation is due, in part, to the efforts of the PEaCE/ECPAT team. Today, we celebrate the history and achievements of PEaCE and have confidence that PEaCE will continue to be a model and leader within the ECPAT Network in the years to come.

Today is a day to celebrate and reflect on the many milestones of PEaCE/ ECPAT Sri Lanka. On behalf of the entire ECPAT Network of 95 organisations in 86 countries, thank you for 25 years of protecting children. We are proud to have you in our global network and leading our efforts in Sri Lanka.

Sincerely,

Katlijn Declercq

Vice-Chair ECPAT International Board of Trustee

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