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.”