Press Release

Sex Trafficking Survivors To Guide ECPAT-USA's Work

Creating a direct line of communication between those working to end commercial sexual exploitation and those who have first-hand experience with the issue.

Brooklyn, NY (March 11, 2019) - - Survivors of sex trafficking will now be playing a larger role in shaping the programs and materials of ECPAT-USA, the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States. ECPAT-USA announced today the creation of a Survivors Council comprised of seven survivors of sex trafficking. The members of the Council, one male and six female survivors, will be enlisted in reviewing and guiding current and future initiatives to ensure the efficacy and sensitivity of programs, reports and materials.

The new Survivors Council replaces the current Advisory Council, which included survivors but also many other interested individuals. The new Survivors Council will play a more active role in reviewing and providing feedback, including checking information about programs, reading reports, and viewing video and printed marketing materials. All members of the Survivors Council will be compensated at a rate of $50/hour for their time.

One of the keys to ending sex trafficking is not only showing empathy for survivors, but listening to their recommendations for how to better support other survivors, protect vulnerable populations, and craft legislation and policies that will be the most effective in preventing child sex trafficking. It is from this understanding that ECPAT-USA sought to create the Survivors Council, which allows for a direct line of communication between those working to end commercial sexual exploitation and those who have first-hand experience with the issue.

“We are humbled by the strength that each member of our Survivors Council has shown and are honored to, in some small part, support them on their journeys, as they help us help other survivors and work to prevent more children from being trafficked,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “As individuals who were directly affected by sexual exploitation, the input from this council will be an invaluable resource moving forward.”


Atlas Travel Announces New Partnership With ECPAT-USA

(MARLBOROUGH MA) - Atlas Travel is proud to announce its partnership with ECPAT-USA, the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Human trafficking is an international and multi-billion dollar market whose proceedings are often unwittingly facilitated by the travel and hospitality industries. As a member of the travel and tourism community, it’s our responsibility to shed light on this global atrocity.

“We are proud of our ongoing commitment to our local communities and continually strive to set the standard for corporate contributions towards the betterment of society,” says founder and CEO Elaine Osgood. “We’ve spent considerable time and resources translating our long-standing culture of community empowerment into a foundational business pillar. We are honored and excited that these efforts have led to becoming the first New England-based travel management company to join ECPAT-USA in fighting global injustices against children.”  

In addition to partnering with ECPAT-USA, Atlas Travel has also become a member of the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. The Code is the world’s first and only voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. The Code provides members with support and resources to raise awareness; in turn, members commit to implementing six essential measures:

  • Establish policies and procedures against human trafficking and child exploitation

  • Train employees on said policies and procedures

  • Include a contract clause for business partners, including RFPs

  • Provide information to travelers

  • Support, collaborate & engage stakeholders

  • Report annually on initiatives

“Companies that recognize their role and responsibility in recognizing and preventing child sex trafficking are a key in ending exploitation,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA.“We are excited to welcome Atlas Travel to The Code and as a new partner in helping us protect children.”

With these core measures in place, our work throughout the year will expand upon these commitments, especially raising both industry-wide and public awareness. We hope these efforts curb trafficking not only internationally, but domestically as well: human trafficking occurs in all 50 states, in cities and rural communities alike.


About Atlas Travel

Headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts, Atlas Travel offers corporate travel, vacation planning, and meetings and incentives services. For over thirty years, Atlas Travel has been providing easier travel and better management to companies around the globe. Through a wholly-owned UK division and affiliation with BCD Travel, Atlas Travel offers global travel programs to more than 110 countries. Atlas Travel is a certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), as well as a distinguished member of the Inc. 5000 list.

About ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. For more than 25 years, ECPAT-USA has been leading the charge to prevent child trafficking before it happens. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 95 countries. For more information on ECPAT-USA, visit ecpatusa.org; for specific details on The Code, please visit ecpatusa.org/Code.

PCMA And Business Events Join With ECPAT-USA To Eradicate Human Trafficking

PCMA has committed to combat child exploitation by signing The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism. In partnership with ECPAT-USA, The Code is the only voluntary set of business principles that companies and organizations in the travel, business travel and tourism industries can implement to prevent and eradicate the trafficking and exploitation of children.

The initiative forms part of the association’s new vision that business events drive social positive transformation. Its commitment to The Code and partnership with ECPAT-USA, which engages with the private sector to drive innovation in protecting children around the world, will see the world’s largest network of business events strategists advocate, build awareness and act on the issue.

The signing of The Code was announced by PCMA Foundation Chair and President of Maritz Global Events David Peckinpaugh during the association’s annual Convening Leaders conference, taking place from Jan. 6-9, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“As an industry, currently worth over $150 billion, we have the power of advocating and raising awareness of the human trafficking epidemic, and have a stronger voice for the vulnerable, whose opinions and opportunities have been taken away from them”, said Peckinpaugh. “Together with ECPAT-USA and other participating organizations, we are committed to doing everything in our power to end human trafficking.”

Alongside other industry experts, Peckinpaugh will present a session at Convening Leaders taking an in-depth look at the human trafficking epidemic.

"One of ECPAT-USA's main focuses — and essential tools for ending child sex trafficking — is engagement with the private sector, including ensuring as many associates in the travel industry are educated about this urgent issue,” said Michelle Guelbart, Director of Private Sector Engagement at ECPAT-USA. “This new collaborative partnership with PCMA helps expand that mission to thousands more and will help protect countless more children from exploitation."


About PCMA

PCMA educates, inspires and listens, creating meaningful experiences where passion, purpose and commerce come together. We are the world’s largest community for Business Events Strategists providing senior education and networking for the business events sector. PCMA crafts and shares knowledge and market intelligence, enabling organizations to make informed business decisions while providing a platform for peer-to-peer exchange. Headquartered in Chicago, PCMA has 17 chapters throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico with members in more than 40 countries. For more information on the PCMA family of brands, visit pcma.org.

About ECPAT-USA

About ECPAT-USA: ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 90 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. For more information, visit ecpatusa.org.


American Airlines, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Viacom Co-Sponsor Day of the Girl Fundraiser for ECPAT-USA

AMERICAN AIRLINES, CARLSON WAGONLIT TRAVEL AND VIACOM CO-SPONSOR DAY OF THE GIRL FUNDRAISER FOR ECPAT-USA

ABC’s Juju Chang to M.C.

For tickets and information, visit ECPAT-USA’s  Day of the Girl  event site.

For tickets and information, visit ECPAT-USA’s Day of the Girl event site.

New York City (October 3, 2018) — American Airlines, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and Viacom are co-sponsoring a fundraising event to support ECPAT-USA, the country’s leader in fighting child sex trafficking on October 10, the evening before the U.N’s International Day of the Girl. ECPAT-USA will gather advocates, change makers, and special guests to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, in particular trafficking and exploitation, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights. ABC-TVs Juju Chang of ABC News Nightline Co-Anchor will be the master of ceremonies for the event.

“Children across the United States continue to be bought, sold, and used for sex. While ECPAT-USA works to protect all children from commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking, this event underscores the urgency of our work today in ending violence against girls and the barriers that keep them from reaching their full potential,” said Carol Smolenski, ECPAT-USA Executive Director.

“American Airlines and our 130,000 team members around the globe are committed to supporting the fight against human trafficking and child exploitation,” said Alison Taylor, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Distribution. “We have a unique role to play in this effort. Every day, we transport more than half a million passengers. With the training program in place for our team members, we are in the fight against this terrible practice. We conduct our business in a manner that protects human rights and the rights of children within our sphere of influence.”

“Our parent company, Carlson Companies, and CWT, have a long history of commitment to the cause that dates back to 1999,” said Brian Mogler, senior vice president, global supplier management, at Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “At CWT, we’ve established an anti-human trafficking task force composed of colleagues from all regions and functions and have trained employees so they can better understand and recognize the issue. We’ve sent over half a million travel alerts on electronic tickets issued in the US to destinations where child sex tourism is prevalent. We know that more work needs to be done. With our partners at ECPAT and other organizations already in the battlefield, we are committed to the long term fight to end human trafficking and any and all forms of child exploitation and abuse.”

“We are proud to host this event in support of ECPAT-USA and its leadership in the fight to eradicate the commercial exploitation of young women and children,” said Lori Nicholson, Head of Global Business Services, Viacom.  “Sex trafficking has absolutely no place in our society.” 

“ECPAT-USA has been working closely with our partners in the travel industry to educate their employees, who are best placed to identify and stop sex trafficking. We are grateful that American Airlines, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Viacom are now supporting us by sponsoring this event and helping us continue and expand our work,” Smolenski said.

The gala event will be held October 10 at 6 pm at Viacom, 1515 Broadway, New York. More information about the event and sponsorship opportunities can be found at ECPAT-USA’s event site.

The ECPAT-USA event is being held in advance of the official UN holiday, International Day of the Girl on October 11.

 

ABOUT ECPAT-USA

More than twenty-five years ago, ECPAT-USA became the first U.S.-based nonprofit to work on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation of children. ECPAT-USA started with sex tourism, helping to get legislation passed that ensured that Americans who traveled abroad to buy sex with minors could be prosecuted in the US for sexually exploiting children in other countries. 

As the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children, ECPAT-USA focuses on awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 93 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. For more information, visit ecpatusa.org.

 

About Juju Chang

Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” She also reports regularly for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” Chang was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement award at the 2017 Front Page Awards for her in-depth personal narratives and investigative reporting set against the backdrop of pressing national and international news. She has also reported extensively on human trafficking in the US and around the world, including child sex trafficking in America.  View Juju Chang's full biography.

 

About American Airlines Group

American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, whose members serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at Facebook.com/AmericanAirlines.

 

About Carlson Wagonlit Travel 

Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected. We provide their travelers with a consumer-grade travel experience, combining innovative technology with our vast experience. Every day, we look after enough travelers to fill more than 260 Boeing 787s and 100,000 hotel rooms - and handle 105 events. We operate in around 150 countries, and in 2017 posted a total transaction volume of more than US$ 23 billion.

Please follow us on Twitter @CarlsonWagonlit and Linkedin.


About Viacom

Viacom is home to premier global media brands that create compelling entertainment content - including television programs, motion pictures, short-form content, games, consumer products, podcasts, live events and social media experiences - for audiences in 183 countries. Viacom's media networks, including Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Logo, Channel 5 (UK), Telefe (Argentina), Colors (India) and Paramount Channel, reach approximately 4.3 billion cumulative television subscribers worldwide. Paramount Pictures is a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Paramount Television develops, finances and produces original programming for television and digital platforms.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at blog.viacom.com and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/viacom.

ECPAT-USA Offering New Resources to Help Hotels Fight Trafficking of Children

ECPAT-USA Offering New Resources to Help Hotels Fight Trafficking of Children

ECPAT-USA and American Hotel & Lodging Association Build on Partnership to Distribute New Materials for Hotels

Brooklyn, NY (May 24, 2018) — Hotels have new resources to help associates identify and prevent human trafficking and child exploitation, ECPAT-USA announced today. Hotels can download the following materials for free from ECPAT-USA’s website

  • Informative back-of-house posters to remind staff about the signs of human trafficking and how to respond if they see suspicious activity. 

  • Position-specific indicator palm cards to share with associates so they have fast access to the signs and swiftly follow hotel protocols for responding to cases.

  • Public area (front-of-house) posters that meet several state laws, which require hotels to post signage about human trafficking that includes the National Human Trafficking Hotline. 

ECPAT-USA has a long history of working with the hotel industry. Most major hotel brands have signed the ECPAT Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code). The Code is an industry-driven set of initiatives travel companies can implement to prevent child sex trafficking and exploitation. Code companies commit to training their staff to recognize when someone might be a victim. 

“Children are identified as victims of trafficking at hotels across the country, putting hotel employees in a unique position to identify trafficking and take action to help victims,” said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “From check-in to check-out, there are a number of indicators victims and traffickers exhibit during the time they're on a hotel property. With proper training, a front desk agent or a housekeeper can notice that something is not right and respond.”

“AHLA and the hotel industry take the issue of human trafficking very seriously, and we recognize the important role hotels can play in helping to fight it,” said Craig Kalkut, Vice President of Government Affairs at AHLA. “AHLA and its members are focused on raising awareness within the industry, training employees, and supporting non-profit organizations and law enforcement in their efforts to combat these terrible crimes. ECPAT-USA has been a valuable partner in these efforts, and we appreciate everything they are doing to put an end to these heinous crimes.”

These newly available resources add to ECPAT-USA’s growing collection of tools for hotels. Notably, ECPAT-USA offers a training program for hotel associates developed in partnership with the hotel industry, which is distributed by American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute, and is already used globally by hotel brands.


About ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 90 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. For more information, visit ecpatusa.org.

 

About AHLA

The American Hotel & Lodging Association is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry, and has long worked to combat human trafficking. As part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness and facilitate training in the industry, AHLA has conducted webinars for members, issued industry principles on human trafficking, hosted a variety of trafficking experts to speak at its meetings and conferences, endorsed legislation, taken part in panels discussions organized by law enforcement and other stakeholders, and partnered with organizations like ECPAT-USA.

ConferenceDirect Signs ECPAT-USA Code

Washington, D.C. (May 22, 2018) — ConferenceDirect has signed the ECPAT-USA Code, making a commitment to work against the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism. The Code, or Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism, was developed by ECPAT to provide awareness, tools, and support to the hospitality and tourism industry to end the sex trafficking of children.

“We’re proud to have signed ECPAT’s Code, to make an impact and help prevent sexual exploitation of children in the tourism industry. Our Associates travel often, and with the tools and training we continue to learn, we will all be more alert to potential situations,” said Brian Stevens, CEO of ConferenceDirect.

Stevens signed The Code on Tuesday, May 22nd in Washington, DC with Carol Smolenski, the Founder and Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. "We are honored to partner with ConferenceDirect to fight child sex trafficking in the global meetings industry and beyond. ConferenceDirect joins a family of leading companies committed to ending the sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism by taking six steps including staff training and adopting a policy against sexual exploitation. This signing represents the latest step forward in reaching that goal,” said Smolenski. "We especially thank Brian Stevens and ConferenceDirect’s leadership for championing this vital cause to protect children from exploitation."


About ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 90 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. Learn more at ecpatusa.org.

 

About ConferenceDirect

Based in West Hollywood, California, ConferenceDirect is a full-service global meetings solution company whose portfolio of services includes: Site Selection & Contract Negotiation, Conference Management, Housing & Registration Services, Mobile App Technology and Strategic Meetings Management Programs. Our 350+ Associates manage over 11,000 meetings, conferences and events representing 3.88 million room nights annually for more than 2,500 customers. For more information, visit conferencedirect.com.

 

About the Code

The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, known as The Code, is the world’s first and only voluntary set of business principles that travel companies can implement to prevent child trafficking. The Code provides awareness, tools, and support to travel companies, with the aim of creating a highly aware and well-trained tourism industry that can recognize and prevent potential abuse. Since its launch in 2004, more than 40 US companies have joined the Code, including some of the world’s most notable airlines, hotels, and travel management companies. To learn more, visit ecpatusa.org/Code.

New Study Suggests that Boys and Very Young Children at Greater Risk of Most Severe Online Sexual Exploitation

New Study Suggests that Boys and Very Young Children at Greater Risk of Most Severe Online Sexual Exploitation

Ground-breaking research into the online sexual exploitation of children has brought to light the urgent need to better understand and measure the problem says INTERPOL and a campaign group.

A report from a new study, released by INTERPOL and ECPAT International today, suggests that when online images or videos of child sexual abuse depict boys or very young children, the abuse is more likely to be severe.

ECPAT-USA Endorses House Floor Vote

This afternoon in a floor vote of 388 to 25, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1865 the Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act or (FOSTA). The bill reported out of the Judiciary Committee was strengthened by an amendment by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). This crucial amendment to the original bill by Rep. Ann Wagner, restores trafficking victims’ rights to pursue websites like Backpage.com for their role in human trafficking. The amendment also brings the House legislation more closely in line with the Stop Enabling Sex Trafficking Act (SESTA) legislation in the Senate, which has garnered 66 cosponsors and awaits a vote by the full Senate.  

“This has been a long journey for these victims. They have fought for years in the courts, and they have have spent years in the halls of Congress trying to get justice. This bill is a giant step forward for them and we will keep fighting until the President signs it into law.” — Carol Smolenski, Executive Director ECPAT-USA

ECPAT USA has been an early advocate for trafficking victims seeking their day in court. These efforts have been repeatedly stymied by websites relying on a loophole in the law referred to as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Federal Courts have called on the Congress to provide clarity to the law, and that is what the House has done today.

"For a very long time, Backpage has been making a tremendous profit from sexual abuse of countless women and children. It is imperative that Backpage is held accountable for its nefarious actions—that is justice for its victims." — Iryna, Survivor-advocate

 

ABOUT ECPAT-USA

ECPAT-USA is the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of the ECPAT International network, with offices in 93 countries. For more information, visit ecpatusa.org.

ECPAT-USA and Marriott International Announce New Partnership to Protect Children from Trafficking

ECPAT-USA and Marriott International Announce New Partnership to Protect Children from Trafficking

ECPAT-USA, the country’s leading anti-child trafficking policy organization, announced a new partnership with global hospitality company Marriott International to combat and prevent human trafficking and exploitation in all forms. Marking National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, Marriott International signed ECPAT-USA’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code), an industry-driven responsible tourism initiative with a mission to provide awareness, tools, and support to the travel and hospitality industry in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.