HPC Fellow: Adaiana Lima, ECPAT International
Adaiana Lima is currently completing a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellowship based in Bangkok, Thailand with ECPAT International, an organization which has been at the forefront of the fight against sexual exploitation of children for the past 25 years. Through her fellowship placement on the Research and Policy team, she assists in the production of legal research to advance the mission of ending sexual exploitation of children in all its manifestations.
In this blog post, Adaiana reflects on the education and the experiences that help her make an impact on the rights of children internationally.
Being Part of the Change
By Adaiana Lima
Growing up in Brazil, I witnessed socio-economic disparities from an early age. As with many young adults, I was aware of the economic and social disparities in my local community, and I wanted to promote social development; however, I did not know how to be part of the change. Like many young women in Brazil, I found it hard to have my voice heard and my views taken seriously by society.
With the aim of giving young people a voice and equipping them with the tools to shape a better world, I founded and served as a director of my city’s chapter of AIESEC, the world’s largest youth-led organization. As a Director of the Global Community Development Program, I led a diverse team of young people to build partnerships with key actors that sought to understand local economic and social problems. We then designed and implemented projects aimed at improving opportunities for youth. From here, I decided that my passion for empowering youth would guide my goal.
I was identified as a future leader by the Chevening Program, which awarded me with a scholarship to study an LLM in International Human Rights Law at Queen Mary University of London in the United Kingdom. After completing my LLM, I assisted some nonprofit organizations; however, it was through the Hilton Prize Coalition fellowship that I experienced the most meaningful experience in the field of children’s rights.
Based at ECPAT International, I conduct research on child protection laws and policies in a number of countries in Europe and Asia to assist ECPAT in their mission of ending sexual exploitation of children. I also produce country reports with a comprehensive baseline of information on all manifestations of sexual exploitation of children. These reports inform the drafting of alternative reports to the United Nations for the advancement of child rights at national level. Additionally, I am a member of ECPAT’s working group designed to build and develop a strategy to combat trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
Working in Bangkok, alongside an influential organization, in a multicultural environment, provided me with unparalleled access to best practices. I am confident these best practices will provide a strong foundation for my professional career, and I will be able to share them with my home country. This fellowship sharpened my knowledge in children’s rights whilst also giving me the opportunity to work with a high-impact organization. As a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow, I had access to and insight into the leading developers and influencers in my field, with whom I could collaborate to address children’s rights issues.
I am confident that my work experience as a Hilton Prize Coalition Fellow will advance my competence and ability to deliver effective solutions throughout my career. After the fellowship, my immediate plan is to work with an international organization that promotes the rights of the child. My overall professional goal is to continue fighting child abuse and exploitation and working to reduce the striking number of children in vulnerable situations.
Step by step I am succeeding in my personal mission of being part of the change. Opportunities like the Hilton Prize Coalition Fellowship empower me, as a young woman, to pursue it. My experience taught me that if we want to engage young people in the change we want to see, we need to provide them with meaningful opportunities to live a shared responsibility for the world.
About The Hilton Prize Coalition
The Hilton Prize Coalition is an independent alliance of the 22 winners of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, working together to achieve collective impact. Through three signature programs—the Fellows Program, the Collaborative Models Program and the Storytelling Program—the Coalition leverages the resources, talents and expertise of each of its members to innovate and establish best practices that can be shared with the global NGO and donor communities. Working in more than 170 countries, the Coalition is governed by a board comprised of the leaders of the Prize-winning organizations led by an Executive Committee and a Secretariat, Global Impact.
To learn more about the Hilton Prize Coalition, visit prizecoalition.charity.org, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the Hilton Prize Coalition on Twitter and LinkedIn, and “Like” us on Facebook.