ECPAT UK has awarded Paul Hewitt, Head of Safeguarding Children in Hillingdon, our Children’s Champion Award for outstanding commitment to children in 2013.

As Head of Safeguarding Children & Quality Assurance in Hillingdon, Paul has proven to be a champion of child protection, going well beyond the responsibilities of his role. ECPAT UK staff and trustees were especially impressed with his enduring dedication to supporting trafficked children and his understanding of the value of multi-agency cooperation in the fight against child trafficking and exploitation.

The award, given annually, is presented to the person/s, organisation or business that has gone beyond its normal employment role to demonstrate an outstanding commitment to children over the past 12 months.

This award recognises Paul’s commitment to the values of ECPAT UK, a vision that prioritises the rights of children to live a fulfilling life free from trafficking, exploitation and abuse.

Bharti Patel, CEO, ECPAT UK, said: “Paul was the most outstanding candidate for the ECPAT UK Children’s Champion 2013 award. ECPAT UK staff have been especially impressed with his enduring dedication to supporting trafficked children over twenty-five years of service. We would like to express our deepest thanks for his contributions in this area.”

The award was presented to Paul Hewitt, who is moving on from the Borough of Hillingdon, at his leaving lunch on 30 January at the Civic Centre in Uxbridge. Paul HewittHe said the award was "an absolute honour" to receive.

Past winners of the ECPAT UK Children’s Champion Award include:

  • The Row for Freedom team, who gained two world records by rowing unaided across the Atlantic Ocean in to raise awareness of child trafficking and funds for our work

  • Nadine Finch, barrister and leading children’s rights advocate

  • The Metropolitan Police’s Operation Golf, which led the first joint operation with Romanian police to uncover the trafficking of children for benefit fraud and street crime in the UK