This presentation was given at the national symposium Out of the Shadows: Addressing the Sexual Exploitation of Boys and Men in Washington, D.C. on September 8, 2017. This event was hosted by The National Center on Sexual Exploitation, Washington College, and The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. Details on Out of the Shadows can be found at endsexualexploitation.org/boysandmen/
There has been some increased awareness about sexually exploited boys in the U.S. since the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in 2000, but law enforcement and services providers often miss them entirely or view them as too few to be counted or not in need of services. The little notice given to boys primarily identifies them as exploiters, pimps and buyers of sex, or as active and willing participants in sex work, not as victims or survivors of exploitation. The ECPAT-USA Report “…And Boys Too” shows that boys are victims of sexual exploitation, perhaps in quite high numbers. The report examines why they receive much less attention and questions the widespread popular assumptions that they are willing participants or even exploiters and not victims.
Carol Smolenski, the Executive Director and one of the founders of ECPAT-USA, has been working in the field of children’s rights for over twenty years. She is a long-time nationally recognized leader working to stop the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.
At ECPAT-USA Carol oversaw the development of the first research project on child trafficking to New York City and two other research projects about commercial sexual exploitation of children. She was the Project Director for the New York City Community Response to Trafficking Project in New York, a multi-faceted ground breaking project to inform communities at risk for human trafficking about the federal anti-trafficking law and help obtain better protections for victims. She has developed and managed projects to stop the commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in the United States, the Riviera Maya and Cancun sections of Mexico and in Belize and is currently overseeing a similar project in three cities in Brazil.
She has spoken at numerous conferences and has presented testimony in venues ranging from the New York City Council to the United States Congress to the United Nations. Carol has a Bachelors degree from Rutgers University, a Masters Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College and an M.Phil from Columbia University.