Around the end of 1987, the Ecumenical Coalition on Third World Tourism (ECTWT) established in Bangkok, Thailand since 1982 launched an advocacy and action study project on tourism and child prostitution in Asia. Three countries namely Thailand, Philippines and Sri Lanka were selected for the study because of the phenomena of children in the tourism business on one hand and ECTWT had network organizations which joined ECTWT programmes for the study of the negative impact of tourism on the third world countries on the other. It was planned to include India in the study as well, but partners there were not available. The findings of these three country studies and the brief reports on the issues in India and Taiwan were shared at an international consultation in Chiang Mai, May 1990 where both Dr Saisuree Chutikul, Advisor to the Office of Permanent Secretary, The Prime Minister’s Office and Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children and Executive Director of Child Rights Asianet were present as resource persons and keynote speakers. The study was named “Caught in Modern Slavery: Thourism and Child Prostitution in Asia.” The sixty-eight participants were so appalled by the magnitude and severity of the victimized children in prostitution, which identified by the UN as a contemporary form of slavery, that they voted to launch an international campaign to eradicate this evil practice.
Three people continued to work on the details of this international campaign; they were: Dr.Koson Srisang, the Executive Secretary of ECTWT at that time who initiated the study “Tourism and Child prostitution in Asia”, Rev. Ron O’Grady who had worked on tourism issue for several years and was a committee member of ECTWT, and Sudarat Sereewat
(-Srisang), the Director of the study project and researcher on Thailand. (Sudarat and June Rogers, co-pastor of the International Church of Bangkok, were co-directors of the study on ‘Tourism and Child Prostitution in Asia’) This campaign was called ECPAT: End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism, a three years programme (1991-1993 ) which was initially planned to be just a “movement” together with many other organizations and governmental agencies. The ECPAT office was established in Bangkok as a director of the study project, Sudarat- who is Thai and based in Bangkok, was asked to be the first Executive Secretary of ECPAT International Campaign.
Although the ECPAT campaign was quite successful in raising the public awareness as well as in encouraging many governments to amend existing laws and to enact new laws to deal with the problems, it became quite clear also that concrete legal measures and action are necessary to effectively curtail the sexual abuse of children. Thus at the beginning of ECPAT phase 2 (1994-1996) the then Executive Secretary, Sudarat, paid more attention to monitoring the legal/justice mechanism so that the victimized children would get justice, especially as it involves the international paedophiles. By then, the ECPAT monitoring work focused on arrested paedophile cases in Thailand where the office based, with the understanding (of Sudarat, the Monitoring Officer & Executive Secretary ) that implications could be drawn and used as model for other countries as well including co-operation needed from other national ECPAT networks especially in the countries of origin of the arrested paedophiles.
But after a little over a year some key people of ECPAT were not happy with the involvement of ECPAT in monitoring the cases of arrested paedophiles. ECPAT then wanted to limit its mandate for just campaign. At the same time, it was felt that the monitoring aspect of the work would be more effective handled if it becomes a separate project and be country specific. Consequently, a new group was eventually founded to monitor the cases of paedophiles arrested in Thailand, while still linking with the international groups in the countries of origin of those paedophiles, and monitor Thai legal/justice mechanism. This new group is FACE: Fight Against Child Exploitation. FACE was founded in April 1995. FACE was registered to be a foundation under the Thai law in February 2003 ( In the early stage, FACE was ‘the Coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation)
It should be noted that the FACE Secretary General, Ms.Sudarat Sereewat, a founder and the first Executive Secretary of ECPAT (1991-1993) and ECPAT Monitoring Officer (1994 – March 1995), has been involved in this issue since the end of 1987 as a director of the three-countries studies as well as researcher on the study of Thailand case. ( Another director of the study was Ms.June Rogers, an American child advocate)