The 1998 Rafto Prize was awarded to the ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) campaign which represents the struggle to protect the human rights of children.
ECPAT was established in 1990. It is a network of organisations and individuals working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The International Secretariat is based in Bangkok, Thailand. 73 ECPAT groups are located in 67 countries. With this award the Rafto Foundation wanted to focus on children's human rights.
ECPAT has played a prominent part in the process of achieving global legal protection for children against commercial sexual exploitation. According to ECPAT, the number of children being held as prostitutes, often under slave-like conditions, is about one million globally.
The areas in which ECPAT works include: the prevention of and fight against child sex tourism and child trafficking, prevention of child pornography on the internet, the support of direct services to children who are at risk or are victims, assistance to law enforcement agencies in investigating and prosecuting offenders, and the development and implementation of campaigns aimed at raising public awareness.