This #GivingTuesday, be a champion for children

This year, on Tuesday, November 27, 2018, we are proud to join #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back that follows Thanksgiving and the major shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The holiday is dedicated to harnessing the collective power of individuals, communities, and businesses to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.


For this special day of giving, we are calling on our strongest supporters to partner with us in ending child trafficking in New York City and across the country. To celebrate and encourage generosity nationwide, Facebook and PayPal are joining forces to match up to $7 million in funds raised for nonprofits in the U.S., including ECPAT-USA.


How to Get Involved

  • Make an individual donation by clicking here.

  • Create your own Facebook fundraiser to share with your network by clicking here.

    • In just three steps, you can encourage others to support our work to end child sex trafficking by creating your own Facebook fundraiser.

    • We will be giving away thank you gifts to the first ten individuals who are able to raise $500 through their personal Facebook fundraisers for ECPAT-USA.


What You Will Be Supporting

Your support on November 27th and every day helps ECPAT-USA work toward a world where no child is bought, sold or used for sex through developing groundbreaking research reports, empowering students to be leaders in their own communities, and creating tools that are training millions of employees in how to identify and respond to instances of exploitation.



ECPAT-USA's Carol Smolenski Joins Nasdaq for World Day Against Trafficking in Persons

Executive Director Carol Smolenski joined Nasdaq's Global Head of Sustainability, Evan Harvey, in conversation on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons. The day of awareness and action, created by the United Nations in 2013, serves to highlight the problem of human trafficking while calling for a coordinated and consistent effort to end the scourge in all its forms. 

The Nasdaq Live conversation touched on child trafficking prevention, the UN's Agenda for Sustainable Development, corporate social responsibility, and more. Click below to view the full conversation.

This #GivingTuesday, You Can Help End Child Trafficking

This year, on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, we are proud to join #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities, and businesses to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities.


For this special day of giving, we are calling on our strongest supporters to partner with us in ending child trafficking in New York City and across the country. To celebrate and encourage generosity nationwide, Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are joining forces to match up to $2 million in funds raised for nonprofits in the U.S., including ECPAT-USA.

Donations to ECPAT-USA made through Facebook’s charitable giving tools on November 28 will be matched up to $50,000 or $1,000 per fundraiser or donate button. Facebook is also waiving its fees for donations made this #GivingTuesday to help supporters' contributions go even further. Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide this opportunity until $2 million has been matched for nonprofits nationwide, so ECPAT supporters are encouraged to give early.


How to Get Involved

  • Create a Fundraiser, post or go Live: Visit, click “Raise Money” and select ECPAT-USA for your fundraiser.

  • Post: Write a post and tag ECPAT-USA. You’ll see a prompt to add a donate button after you post.

  • Live: Tap “Live” at the top of your News Feed and click “Add Donate Button” from the menu. Click and Donate: Find ECPAT-USA on Facebook and donate directly to end child trafficking.



What You Will Be Supporting


This matching announcement comes at a critical time in the movement to end child trafficking and exploitation. ECPAT-USA is currently advocating for legislation to prevent the online abuse of children, an alarming and growing problem. We are also educating youth to become leaders on this issue in their own communities and engaging with the travel industry to better recognize and prevent trafficking on the front line.

Your support means that we can advance the fight to address this pressing human rights issue and continue our vital programs—without interruption—to protect our most vulnerable population from this unconscionable crime.




Behind the PSA: Q&A with Janai Smith, Youth Outreach Manager

This week, we speak with Janai Smith, ECPAT’s Youth Outreach Manager, about our new PSA AnyKidAnySchool.

Tell us a little about the work you do with ECPAT. What are some of the major challenges you face?

I facilitate our Youth Against Child Trafficking (Y-ACT) program, which educates young people about domestic sex trafficking, how they can protect themselves, and how to become activists on the issue. Two major challenges are lack of funding and school buy-in.

Did you (and/or the youth in your program) have the opportunity to work on the #anykidanyschool PSA?

The majority of students in the PSA are actually Y-ACT leaders, and some of them provided the voiceovers that can be heard throughout. I worked closely with Creative Director Carla Licavoli to create the script used by the Youth Advocate on stage, as well as the students’ “thoughts.”

The PSA features teenagers in a high school listening to a presentation on sex trafficking. How does this compare to ECPAT’s presentations?

Our workshops are led by me and sometimes our interns, but at times, some of our students have voluntarily stepped forward to speak at assemblies about the issue. Specifically, the Y-ACT leaders of The Young Women’s Leadership School of Harlem initiated and organized a youth-led assembly in honor of Human Trafficking Awareness month.

Some of the thoughts we hear in the PSA express some sense of denial, i.e. “That couldn’t happen here.” How common is that attitude?

These are very common viewpoints. I believe they stem from two places: 1) students knowing that they are loved, and thus feeling that they don’t need a stranger to tell/show them so, and 2) the perception that sex trafficking usually happens as a result of sudden, violent abductions, which is something that anyone would immediately recognize if they witnessed it. The former is a positive thing, really amazing, while the latter is a serious misconception and a big part of what keeps us doing the work that we do. Through our Y-ACT workshops, we make sure to address and correct myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes that students may have about sex trafficking.

What are you hoping viewers will get out of this PSA?

As the name implies, the PSA’s main goal is to inform people that child sex trafficking can happen anywhere to anyone. There are a lot of myths that lead people to think it only happens to the poor people from other countries, or only to girls, etc. These are certainly untrue. There are also misconceptions about how it happens, with many believing that it always includes kidnapping. #AnyKidAnySchool dispels that myth as well.

What should someone do if they feel that they are in a similar situation, or know someone who is?

If someone believes there is an immediate danger, they should always call 911. Otherwise, use the following resources:

  • NYC Human Trafficking Referral Tipline: 212-335-3400

  • National Human Trafficking Hotline: 888-373-7888 or Text BeFree to 233733

To learn more and view our PSA, visit


Janai Smith | Youth Outreach Manager

Janai Smith runs ECPAT-USA’s Youth Program which empowers youth to take a stand against child sexual exploitation. Previously, she worked with non­profits such as Global Kids, South Asian Youth Action, and the Advocacy Lab. During her time at these organizations, Janai taught youth about various human rights issues and how they can mobilize to fight for social justice. She has led young people to take action against human trafficking, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, hunger, and more. In addition to her youth development experience, Janai is an alumna of the Public Allies AmeriCorps program. Upon completing her service year, she spent 5 months in Cameroon volunteering at an orphanage and HIV/AIDS NGO. Janai received her B.A. in Sociology from the University of Vermont and is currently pursuing her Masters in Global Affairs at NYU.

Trafficking Hidden in Plain Sight

Trafficking Hidden in Plain Sight: New PSA Shows What We Fail to See

ECPAT-USA Releases Public Service Announcement “Any Kid Any School” Kicking Off Campaign Empowering Youth to Identify Trafficking

Today EPCAT-USA launched "Any Kid Any School," a Public Service Announcement and campaign that aims to educate and mobilize students, parents, and communities to take action against child sex trafficking in the United States. This powerful PSA sends the message that trafficking can happen anywhere, to any child at any school.

According to ECPAT-USA Executive Director Carol Smolenski, "This is not just a problem in other countries. American children are sex trafficked right here in the United States and we must equip our youth with knowledge and skills so they stay safe. We want to train our young people to become the next generation of empowered activists. We want theirs to be the generation that finally ends child sex trafficking for good."

The United States Department of Education reports that school-age youth are at risk for trafficking, and may be recruited through social media websites or after-school programs, at shopping malls and bus stations, in clubs, or through friends or acquaintances who recruit students on school campuses. High schoolers are not the only minors at risk—pimps and traffickers may prey on children as young as nine years old. 

"Any Kid Any School" highlights the urgent and ongoing need for all individuals, and especially young people, to recognize the signs of trafficking. In response, ECPAT-USA manages a Y-ACT (Youth Against Child Trafficking) program, in which middle and high school students are told the facts, misconceptions, and risks of trafficking. Armed with the tools to identify the warning signs and proper resources to protect themselves and their peers, these young people become advocates for anti-human trafficking efforts in their own communities.

This project was generously funded by Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, and produced in collaboration with BRIC Media Arts, the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn. ECPAT-USA's Carla Licavoli served as Creative Director and Producer for "Any Kid Any School," with Janai Smith, also of ECPAT-USA, serving as Youth Manager and Producer. The film's Supervising Producer was Tony Horn of BRIC Media Arts, with Shaun Seneviratne directing.

To watch the Public Service Announcement and learn more about the campaign, visit

How to Join End It Movement with ECPAT-USA

On February 23, 2017, ECPAT-USA will be partnering with the End IT Movement in order to shine a light on modern day slavery. Organizations, individuals and companies around the world will join in an awareness campaign on twitter and facebook to join together to fight for freedom.  Here's how you can be part of the movement:  

STEP 1: On February 23rd, draw red ❌’s on your hands.  

STEP 2: Take a photo.  

STEP 3: Share the photo on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to tag @ecpatusa and use the hashtag #enditmovement.  

STEP 4: Tell your friends, family and coworkers about end it, and let others know how they can shine a light on slavery.

Join ECPAT-USA in Stopping Sex Trafficking Before It Starts This #GivingTuesday

In the past year, cases of sex trafficking have been reported in all 50 states in the U.S. So, for our #GivingTuesday campaign this year at ECPAT-USA, we wanted to focus on how we can stop these cases of sex trafficking from happening before they even start.

Our Youth Against Child Trafficking (Y-ACT) program is our largest prevention program. We believe that through empowering our primary stakeholders, America’s children, we will be able to stop child sex trafficking before it starts. Our youth program trains students to be the foremost advocates in their communities, educating them on the facts, misconceptions and risks of trafficking. Where there is education, there is prevention, and through Y-ACT, youth are able to use their voice and knowledge to educate and empower others about the issue.

“I don’t know if I can stress how lucky I feel to have been a part of the Y-ACT program,” said Ryan Onodera, a Teaching Fellow at a New York school who implemented the Y-ACT program in his classroom last year.  “I feel more aware and more appreciative of what I have.”

At the end of the 10-week program, Onodera’s students spent a few hours in a local park educating the public about the risks of sex trafficking in their community. He said that when the students approached an individual who didn’t speak English, they started translating what they had learned into Spanish.

“Some of my students, in class you see them and they can have shy tendencies: they don’t want to talk to people, they don’t want to engage,” he said. “But then you get them out in the real world in real situations, and they really shine in unexpected ways.”

All of the donations received by ECPAT-USA on #GivingTuesday will be used to expand and improve our Y-ACT program. We’re hoping to raise $7500-enough to educate and empower 100 more students.

To donate to the campaign, click here.

To learn more about the Y-ACT program, including how to bring it to your school, click here.