Program Updates

Y-ACT leaders at the Academy for Future Leaders

Through ECPAT's partnership with Citizen Schools, we're able to bring our Youth Against Child Trafficking (Y-ACT) program to the middle school population. During the course of a 10-week apprenticeship, 7th graders at the Academy for Future leaders learned about the issue of child trafficking, what it means to be an activist, and how they can use those skills take action against modern-day slavery. The Y-ACT leaders of AFL decided to use their newly acquired skills to transform the knowledge they gained into a PSA for their peers.

Y-ACT leaders at the Academy for Future Leaders

ECPAT-USA Briefing with UN Special Rapporteur in Trafficking in Persons

This past December, ECPAT-USA was honored to meet with Maria Gradia Giammarinaro, UN Special Rapporteur in Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. ECPAT-USA briefed the Special Rapporteur on the current challenges faced by child victims of sex trafficking in the United States. This was an opportunity to share the findings of our July 2016 Alternative Report to the U.N.; we discussed the progress the U.S. has made as well as areas where the U.S. government can improve its response to child victims of sex trafficking. You can read more about the Special Rapporteur's visit here.

Advocacy Journeys - Learning How to Fight Child Sex Trafficking: The Thailand Experience

Six travelers from across the U.S. joined me at the end of 2016 to meet with anti-sex trafficking organizations and survivors of trafficking across Thailand. It was an opportunity to learn first-hand about the problems and solutions to ending child sex trafficking in another context. This was the second Advocacy Journey organized by the nonprofit ECPAT-USA, which is part of ECPAT International’s network protecting children from sexual exploitation in 90 countries.
Read the full article here

Carol Smolenski Executive Director ECPAT-USA

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Report From the Tourism Code of Conduct Annual Meeting

Report From the Tourism Code of Conduct Annual Meeting
The annual meeting of the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct takes place in March each year. As usual this year it was held in Berlin to coincide with ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair.

Thirty eight U.S. companies having joined the Code to demonstrate their commitment to protecting children from sexual exploitation. Around the world more than 300 companies are members of the Code.

The annual Code meeting is an opportunity for companies and ECPAT groups from around the world to share best practices, discuss their mutual work to implement the Code and decide how to move forward together.

These are some of the highlights:

A new policy on “voluntourism” was approved. Voluntourism is a form of travel which gives tourists the ability to work on projects helping local charities.
It was noted that the UN World Tourism Organization is debating a new international convention on sustainable tourism.
ECPAT’s Global Study on Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism has been rolled out around the world. The extensive recommendations have implications for how the Code should be expanded and implemented. The report includes separate publications focusing on each region of the world including North America. ECPAT continues to promote these recommendations.
There may be changes to the international structure of the Code. For the past year it has been housed at and supported by ECPAT International in Bangkok. ECPAT has been the driving force behind the Code for many years. ECPAT national groups around the world work in partnership with companies and facilitate their implement of the Code through technical assistance, training assistance and advice on best practices.

Our Mission

To protect every child’s basic human right to grow up free from the threat of sexual exploitation and trafficking. ECPAT-USA does this in four primary ways:
ECPAT-USA advocates for federal and state legislation that prevents exploitation, protects children, and guarantees that any child who is subjected to sexual slavery or sex trafficking will not be prosecuted in the courts for prostitution;
ECPAT-USA promotes corporate responsibility among private companies with a strong focus on the tourism sector.
ECPAT-USA educates first responders and ordinary citizens about this issue so that they can identify victims and join us in the fight to better protect children.
ECPAT-USA empowers youth to take the lead against human trafficking by equipping them with the knowledge and tools necessary to help them become activists against this terrible trade.

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-trafficking policy organization in the United States. ECPAT-USA belongs to an international network of organization in 80 countries, all working to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children.