ECPAT-USA Launches National Songwriting Contest to Combat Child Sex Trafficking


New York, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/24/2020 --Calling all songwriters eager to help a worthy cause! In October, ECPAT-USA, the leading organization that seeks to end child sex trafficking and exploitation in the United States, launched a contest in search of its own musical anthem. Aimed at finding a creative new way to raise awareness and empower survivors, the contest will accept all musical genres and is open to all songwriters over age 18 who live in the United States, from amateurs to professionals.

"Music has extraordinary power," says Sharon Appelman, a member of ECPAT-USA's Board of Directors. A gifted cellist and graduate of the Royal Academy of Music, Appelman says it was her love of music that led her to realize ECPAT-USA needed a song of its own. "We believe that through the winning entry, we will reach more people," she says. The organization combats these unconscionable crimes against children, which remain rampant in towns and cities throughout the U.S.A.

ECPAT-USA's work has become more critical than ever now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Reports of online exploitation and child sexual abuse material online have skyrocketed during coronavirus stay-at-home orders and the shift to virtual schooling. "ECPAT-USA is dedicated to ensuring that all children will grow up free from the threat of sex trafficking," says Karen Weiss, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. "Let's celebrate that freedom in song."

A panel of judges, made up of songwriters, professional musicians, and ECPAT-USA personnel, will review all submissions. The winning entry will be used by the organization in promotional materials, on its website and social media, and at live and virtual events. The judges include Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Nicole Zuraitis, Kyra Wooden, a musician and former ECPAT-USA Youth Education Manager, and Allegra Levy, a leader of the Women in Jazz Organization and award-winning singer/songwriter.

"This is a perfect opportunity for musicians to use their voices for change," says Levy, a winner of last year's Great American Song Contest. "Musicians are struggling to find hope themselves right now, but this is a way for them to use their creativity to help others in a very difficult time."

Music can sometimes move us when words alone are not enough, notes Lori Cohen, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. "Child trafficking and exploitation are a frightening but very real risk for our youth," she added. "Creating an anthem will raise awareness and inspire us all to take action to protect our most precious resource — our children."

The submission deadline is Friday, January 29, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. The winner and runners-up will be announced on Monday, March 1 at noon. For the contest rules and guidelines, please go to For further information, email

ECPAT-USA is the leading anti-child trafficking organization in the United States seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children through awareness, advocacy, policy, and legislation. ECPAT-USA is a member of ECPAT International, a network of organizations in more than 100 countries with one common mission: to eliminate the sexual exploitation of children around the world. For more information, visit