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"I spent half of my developmental years being groomed and taught that prostitution was the life to live. I had no other knowledge on the subject other than that given to me by pimps. It came to the point where I was oblivious to any other way of living. ... Fortunately I was provided with helpful services that walked with me step by step in everything I needed help with. I was no longer seen as a criminal but instead as a victim… The unfortunate part is that everyone is not lucky enough to have these services. There are lots of children still being criminalized everyday where instead they should be offered help."
--Testimony from "R," a Survivor of Child Sex Trafficking in the United States.
ECPAT-USA works to make sure that "R", and thousands of children like her have independent lives free of sexual exploitation and receive support, not jail terms, to help them recover.
This year we
1. Provided child protection services workers across the country with our training video on identifying and helping child trafficking victims more effectively.
2. Brought 4 more leading U.S. tourism companies to the table to implement the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct. They are now using their own private resources to carry out our mission of protecting children from sexual exploitation.
3. Trained travel and tour operators in the Amazon region of Brazil, a major child sex tourism destination, with information about how to stop child sex tourism.
4. Brought a graphic reminder of the fight against child sex trafficking to airports and hotels by adding more people to the thousands who hang a "Tassatag Luggage Tag" on their baggage.
Fighting trafficking of children requires advocacy on many fronts. Only with your help can we continue to change policies, create shelter and other protection programs and raise awareness for the protection of American and foreign children who are sold and used in the sex trade.
Your gift will go further if you donate right now, thanks to a matching challenge from an ECPAT USA supporter. If you give before December 31st, your gift will be matched on a 1:1 basis up to $10,000.
Together with your help, we are having a measurable impact. Please contribute generously so that together, in the coming year we can:
• Assist Delta Air Lines to roll out a training program to train 30,000 employees about child sex trafficking.
• Enlist five large and well-known companies in the travel industry sign our Code of Conduct.
• Advocate for New York State to pass legislation to improve the treatment of children who are found in the sex trade and treat them like victims, not criminals.
All these things and more are possible in 2013.
Please let us take advantage of the matching offer by sending us your donation today. You can donate online at our website www.ecpatusa.org or send a check to ECPAT-USA, 30 Third Avenue, Suite 800A, Brooklyn, NY 11217. Thank you!
P.S. You can also show your support by purchasing Tassatags and displaying them proudly on all your bags. www.tassatag.org