Youth

Making The Grade: Measuring the Impact of Our Youth Empowerment Program

Our Youth Against Child Trafficking (Y-ACT) Program is designed to educate, empower and develop the leadership skills of young people. Through our workshops, students learn about the  facts, misconceptions and risks of trafficking and are given the tools needed to identify the warning signs and resources to protect themselves and their peers. Y-ACT empowers youth to be the voices of their communities who are advocating against the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.

In order to assess the impact of the Y-ACT program pre and post testing is used to examine the net change in overall comprehension and understanding of the material. Recently, we analyzed student responses from these tests from the 2017-2018 academic year and compiled them into a new report.  The program reached 2,187 students in public and private schools throughout NYC.   

The report shows students have a 23% increase in an understanding of child sex trafficking.  Alongside this increase in understanding, students shared how the workshop impacts their lives.  One student said “I liked how we learned something so severe is going on. Sex trafficking is a serious problem that can happen to anyone including me.”  The report highlights that students believe these programs are useful in their lives as 83% of students say they will use information from the healthy relationships workshop in their personal lives.  It is not only students that believe the program is useful, but teachers as well. Ninety-three percent of teachers said the child trafficking workshop was “extremely useful” for their students.

The 2017-2018 impact report highlights the increase in knowledge, awareness, and desire to learn more from the workshops.  But one student’s comments highlights what this program is all about. This student wrote, “today's lesson was really interesting and made me interested in this kind of topic. I wasn’t thinking about this kind of issue before.  I wasn’t paying attention but now I will and I’m interested. I want to hear more; I want to know more.” YACT has been a catalyst for this student and thousands of others to understand and advocate on the issue of child sex trafficking.

Launch of ECPAT-USA Cause Vision Comic Book to Prevent Child Sex Trafficking

ECPAT-USA_WhereIsDylan

Where Is Dylan? is an innovative new tool for preventing the sex trafficking of children in the form of an educational comic book. It was launched last week in New York City by ECPAT-USA in partnership with the Administration for Children’s ServicesCauseVision and JCCA. Fifteen thousand copies will be distributed to at-risk youth throughout the City.

The comic book focuses on the stories of two young people, a boy named Dylan and a girl named Ashley. It delivers a trafficking prevention message to them in a child-friendly format of pictures and simple vocabulary to capture their attention and make the material accessible to a wide range of reading levels. It is a compelling mechanism for the engagement of NYC youth with a tough topic, and in a way that is empowering, thoughtful and educational.

Executive Director Carol Smolesnki speaking at the Where Is Dylan? launch event.

Executive Director Carol Smolesnki speaking at the Where Is Dylan? launch event.

An educated child is the most practical and immediate deterrent to child sex trafficking. By providing preventive information in this format, the comic book can teach children and youth how to identify traffickers, identify recruitment techniques, and where they can get help. Most of the distribution will take place through New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. But copies are also available through ECPAT-USA. Contact ECPAT-USA at info@ecpatusa.org to inquire about how to receive copies.