SITE Northeast Announces SITE-Wide Challenge to Fight Child Prostitution and Trafficking

smu international 2018

Carol Smolenski, executive director of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (ECPAT), and Caroline Pidroni, vice president of CSR for the SITE Northeast Chapter and director of sales and marketing for the Switzerland Convention & Incentive Bureau, have announced a 2018 fundraising challenge for all the local chapters of SITE to raise money for ECPAT. The challenge is being issued to all 29 local SITE chapters around the world to donate a minimum of $500 to ECPAT in 2018. To date, SITE Texas, SITE Southeast, and SITE Northeast have all met the challenge.

"The problem of trafficking children is a social phenomenon that is global. Children are being bought and sold all over the world," said Smolenski. "This is an issue that the tourism and hospitality industry should be paying close attention to as half of the exploitation takes place in hotels of every category, from budget to luxury properties and the transportation industry is also playing a role in trafficking of children."

Smolenski made her comments during a CSR activity sponsored by the SITE Northeast Chapter at the opening of SMU International, which took place at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge February 25 to 27. Over 75 of the 275 event attendees participated in the activity, creating 100 goodie bags that were distributed to needy children in the New York area. The event also raised awareness of the plight of children caught up in prostitution and trafficking around the world.

"It's a tragic and sickening reality that there are people out there to whom not even the innocence and humanity of a child is sacred," said Pidroni. "But it is also true that each one of us has the ability, and responsibility to contribute in whatever small or large way we can to stop this practice."

About End Child Prostitution and Trafficking USA

Twenty-five years ago, ECPAT-USA became the first U.S.-based nonprofit 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.

As the leading policy organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial, sexual exploitation of children, ECPAT-USA focuses on awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in 88 countries working together toward one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children.