The New Zealand founder of an international group to battle child prostitution has died after a long illness.
Ronald O'Grady, who was 83, created End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (Ecpat) in 1990 after attending a conference that revealed an increasing number of tourists were visiting Asia to have sex with children.
Ecpat has now grown into a global network of 81 organisations in 74 countries, committed to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children.
The organisation's international executive director, Dorothy Rozga, said Mr O'Grady had shown great courage and leadership in speaking out against the sexual exploitation of children in Asian tourism in the 1990s, when the issue was not yet seen as a crime.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"Ron's passion and commitment will continue to inspire Ecpat's work worldwide."
Mr O'Grady was born in 1930 in Wellington.
His career started as a parish minister. He became a leader in the ecumenical movement in New Zealand, Singapore and Australia, before founding the anti-child exploitation group.
After retirement, Mr O'Grady became honorary president of Ecpat International and patron of Ecpat Child Alert in New Zealand.
The foundation said Mr O'Grady had committed his life to protecting children.
Mr O'Grady is survived by his wife, Alison, children Michael, Ruth, Gillian and Warwick and grandchildren Sam, Shanshan, Joseph, Kate, Daniel and Katie.