Handling of International Parental Kidnapping Examined Under the Hague Treaty | ICMEC | SEP 25, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to improve the global response to missing children, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and its affiliate, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), today released the Good Practice Report on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The purpose of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Hague Treaty) is to protect children from the harmful effects of international parental abduction by establishing procedures to ensure the prompt return of the children to their home country. Currently, when a child is taken internationally in violation of one parent’s custodial rights, the left-behind parent files an application under the Hague Treaty for the return of or access to his or her child. This process, which can take months, is only applicable if the child was taken to one of the 68 participating countries. NCMEC’s International Division provides assistance to parents who are in this situation.

The Good Practice Report provides an objective analysis of the procedures and systems of eight countries that have the most missing child cases under the Hague Treaty. Those countries include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Along with the Good Practice Report, individual country reports are also available.

“By assessing the strengths and weaknesses of these countries, we hope to encourage discussion and understanding among policy makers and to share successful models for implementing the treaty for countries considering signing on,” stated NCMEC and ICMEC President and CEO Ernie Allen. “Ultimately, we want to benefit the thousands of parents and children who are affected by this heart-wrenching problem worldwide,” he continued.

NCMEC is a private, 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization, which serves as a national clearinghouse for information and a resource center for child protection. Working in cooperation with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention at the U.S. Department of Justice, NCMEC has aided law enforcement officials in the search for over 84,000 missing children. More than 67,000 children have been returned to their families as a result. ICMEC is a private, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. ICMEC’s mission is to create and lead a coordinated, global response to the problems of international child abduction and child sexual exploitation. Please visit www.missingkids.com or www.icmec.org for more information on the organizations or to order copies of the Good Practice Report or individual country reports.



International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Announces Distinguished Honorary Board of Directors | ICMEC | OCT 11, 2002

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Announces Distinguished Honorary Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) announced the formation of its Honorary Board of Directors, a group comprised of prominent world leaders who support ICMEC’s mission to create and lead a coordinated, global response to the problems of international child abduction and child sexual exploitation.

ICMEC is proud to announce the new members of its Honorary Board of Directors who includeMarta Sahagún de Fox, First Lady of Mexico from Chapultapec, Mexico; Susanna Agnelli of the Foundation IL FARO in Rome, Italy; Her Royal Highness Queen of Belgium Paola of Brussels; andValentina Matvienko, Vice Prime Minister of Russia based in Moscow. Made up of internationally-respected leaders, the Honorary Board of Directors will lend influence, visibility, and stature to the issues of missing children and child sexual exploitation. The creation of the honorary board will assist ICMEC in building a global network of organizations and individuals that will work together to protect the world’s children.

“We are honored by the high caliber of individuals who have joined our efforts. Their participation will help raise awareness and visibility to the issues of missing and exploited children around the world,” stated ICMEC Chairman Arnold Burns. “I am confident that the Honorary Board of Directors’ international stature, credibility, and concern for the welfare of children will lend great momentum to ICMEC’s efforts,” added Baron Daniel Cardon de Lichtbuer, ICMEC Vice Chair.

ICMEC is a private, 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Please visit www.icmec.org for more information on the organization’s programs and resources.



Campaign Launched to Attack Global Problem of Child Pornography | ICMEC | OCT 18, 2002

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Concludes Global Forum on Child Pornography with 10 Point Action Plan

DUBLIN, IRELAND – Today, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) announced that it will undertake a worldwide campaign, promoting coordination and attacking the growing problem of child pornography. The announcement was made following the completion of the Global Forum on Child Pornography, held in Dublin at the offices of the European Parliament this week. This comprehensive international agenda will be called, “The Dublin Plan.”

ICMEC’s Child Pornography Forum was chaired by Irish MEP Mary Banotti, who also serves as Vice Chair of the ICMEC Board of Directors. Banotti said, “the participants of the Forum concluded that the problem of child pornography is enormous and growing dramatically, fueled by the Internet. Despite aggressive and impressive efforts by key law enforcement leaders, there are too few specialists, inadequate resources, and far more must be done around the world.”

ICMEC’s Chair, Arnold Burns, the former Deputy Attorney General of the United States, released a 10 Point Action Plan. Burns called the plan “a bold step toward raising public awareness and making this crisis a much higher priority for decision makers.” He added, “the implementation of this plan will improve laws, expand knowledge and resources, protect victims, and target offenders everywhere who prey upon children.”

ICMEC’s 10 Point Action Agenda is as follows:

  1. Build Public Awareness of the Problem of Child Pornography.
  2. Demand that Child Pornography be Placed Higher on the Political Agenda.
  3. Create an International Child Pornography Monitoring and Oversight System.
  4. Undertake Extensive Research to Define and Measure Extent of Problem.
  5. Examine and Evaluate Current Law Enforcement Practices.
  6. Develop and Promote Systems for Identifying the Victims of Child Pornography.
  7. Develop and Promote Model Legislation and Ensure Consistency of Law Between Nations.
  8. Enhance the Capacity of Law Enforcement to Investigate and Prosecute Child Pornography.
  9. Promote Information Sharing and Coordination Between and Among Law Enforcement, Internet Hotlines, the Media, and Others.
  10. Promote Stronger Involvement by Private Sector Entities, including ISPs and NGOs.

ICMEC will begin an immediate effort to formalise the points of the Agenda, and will begin a process of consultation with leaders around the world.

Among the organisations represented at the Forum were Interpol, Europol, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (US), INHOPE, Child Focus, the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law, Save the Children, Denmark, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as Irish government officials and law enforcement representatives from several countries.