Award Recipients - 2002

Carol Smolenski, Founder

ECPACT-US (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children or Sexual Purposes), is a nonprofit organization established in 1991 to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children, which is a major human rights issue.  Approximately 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year, with New York’s JFK airport as a major point of entry.  ECPAT-USA is the only research and advocacy organization with an international perspective working exclusively on the problem of child commercial sexual exploitation.  It provides information and training to community organizations, schools, churches, international organizations and others.  ECPAT-USA has published “Prostituted Youths in New York City: An Overview,” and “International Trafficking of children to New York City for Sexual Purposes.”  
In collaboration with other organizations, ECPAT-USA founded the New York City Task Force Against Sexual Exploitation of Young People, a coalition of one hundred individuals, community-based groups and social service organizations, focusing on child prostitution issues in the City.  The group documents the nature and extent of child sexual exploitation and trafficking, disseminated information about best practices for combating the problem and advocates for government policies that protect children and youth.  At greatest risk are runaways, throwaways and other homeless children who use “survival sex” to acquire food, shelter, clothing and other necessities as well as children living in foster care, group homes, shelters and prisons; many children also work for pimps.

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