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The Idea Bureau

Working with ECPAT International to highlight the legal state of sexual exploitation of children around the world.

We were extremely pleased to be asked to collaborate on a product to shine a light on the legal status of child exploitation worldwide, providing transparent information to the general public.

ECPAT International is a non-governmental organisation and a global network of civil society organisations dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).

We were approached by the ECPAT legal team to collaborate on this project to design and develop a platform that would help the public better understand the legal status relating to child exploitation in their country.

ECPAT International
Aug 2016
Project URL:
Areas of focus:
Data analysis, UX / UI design, information architecture, database design


ECPAT International, with support from UNICEF, has conducted extensive legal research covering both procedural and substantive law in 28 countries around the world, with the purpose to:

  1. Inform the public on the current status of the domestic legal frameworks in the countries under consideration
  2. Identify potential gaps in the legislation
  3. Support the relevant national actors by suggesting ad hoc recommendations for each country.

A platform was needed in order to make this extensive and complicated data available to the general public, in a format that would allow for easy navigation and meaningful conclusions to be made.

Information architecture

The project kicked off with a detailed handover and understanding of the data which had been compiled over a number of months by multiple key legal personnel within ECPAT. The task was to create a data structure and framework of which the admin team could easily organise the data from each country in a consistent and reliable way.

We analysed the data, devised a content structure and created a simple system for the team to upload country information. During the proof of concept stage we used a custom WordPress implementation to store the data, this provided a simple and non-technical interface which allowed the team (distributed over different locations) the ability to easily upload, clean-up and publish data.

Interface design

Once the data was more organised we began designing a suitable user interface to allow people to view the information. The key focus is to allow a user to easily explore the legal frameworks within a given region or country and better understand the criminal penalties for crimes against children, and to allow comparison between countries.

We’re constantly learning from user feedback and stakeholder reviews and applying this to each new design phase. We’re constantly reviewing how best to design a suitable user experience around such a complex subject. Future phases will include country dashboards, visualisations, embeddable and exportable datasets, mobile and tablet functionality and lots more.

The ECPAT Global Database is an ongoing project of which is still in beta phase. We’re continuously working with ECPAT and UNICEF in facilitating feedback and recommendations, constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the overall usability and usefulness of the database.

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