Alliance ‘Down to Zero’

Free a Girl, Terre des Hommes (coordinator), Plan Netherlands, Defense for Children – ECPAT and ICCO Cooperation join their specific knowledge, strengths and experience, together with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to ban commercial sexual exploitation in eleven countries in Asia and Latin America. The five-year program started in January 2016. Free a Girl is in the lead for India and also executes the program in Thailand.


The Down to Zero program focuses on four strategic goals to eradicate commercial sexual exploitation of children in eleven countries:

  • Victims and children who are vulnerable to being sexually exploited, are able to stand up for their own rights and thereby protect themselves against sexual exploitation by recognizing and reporting signals of sexual exploitation. They also have an active role in increasing the attention for the problem, including among peers, and in decision-making.
  • The environment in which children grow up is safer, offers better protection to victims and prevents children from (again) becoming victims by making the general public aware of the consequences of commercial sexual exploitation of children and thereby breaking the taboo and shame surrounding this problem.
  • Governments and the judiciary apply policies, action plans and protocols to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children – and also make money available for this – through lobbying, capacity building, advocating prosecution of perpetrators and contributing to good mechanisms for offering victims the right help and monitor their progress.
  • Market leaders or industry associations (tourism, ICT, transport and mining) are actively involved in the protection of children against commercial sexual exploitation by, among other things, lobbying and cooperating in policy on codes of conduct.


The Down to Zero alliance fights commercial sexual exploitation of children in eleven countries by:

  • Allow children and young people to stand up for their rights themselves.
  • Communities to better protect their children from commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Improve and implement relevant policies and legislation and regulations in the eleven countries.
  • Working together with the business community to prevent and fight sexual exploitation of children in -for example- the tourism sector.