In 1991, as an offshoot of ECPAT-International, ECPAT-USA became the first American non-profit 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. Since then, ECPAT-USA has continued to be the primary national leader on protecting children from sexual exploitation.
ECPAT-USA was the first organization to advocate for U.S. Defense Department training to protect children from sexual exploitation. We succeeded in getting the first training in place in 1999.
ECPAT-USA published the first research projects about child trafficking in the United States, Prostituted Youth in New York City- An Overview in 2001 and International Trafficking of Children to New York City for Sexual Purposes in 2002.
ECPAT-USA developed the first local multi-stakeholder anti-trafficking project in New York City in partnership with IOFA. We launched the first federally funded human trafficking task force that became the model for federally funded human trafficking task forces across the country.
ECPAT-USA was the first to obtain the partnership of the hospitality industry in the United States in adopting the Tourism Child Protection Code of Conduct, when Carlson Companies signed it in 2004.
ECPAT-USA published the first report about the disparity in services available to foreign and U.S. victims of trafficking and exploited children, WHO IS THERE TO HELP US? How the System Fails Sexually Exploited Girls in the United States Examples from Four American Cities.
For more than twenty-five years, policy makers, individuals, churches, and other organizations have looked to ECPAT-USA for leadership because of its groundbreaking work in protecting children from all form of commercial sexual exploitation