Microsoft Joins Interpol and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children for Global Training Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica | ICMEC | FEB 23, 2004
Microsoft Joins Interpol and International Center for Missing and Exploited Children for Global Training Conference in San Jose, Costa Rica
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – In an effort to support the international community’s heightened endeavor to address the growing problem of child safety on the Internet, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (International Centre), INTERPOL (http://www.interpol.int/) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) (http://www.microsoft.com/) today began their second international training program for worldwide law enforcement personnel who investigate computer-facilitated crimes against children. The International Centre plans to conduct eight to 10 intensive training programs per year around the globe. This, the second such training session, begins today and runs through Feb. 26 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The first training session involved representatives of 33 countries and took place in Lyon, France, in December.
The International Centre’s training conference is supported by Interpol, an international police organization with 181 member countries. Titled Conference on Computer-Facilitated Crimes Against Children, the conference brings together worldwide law enforcement representatives for four days of extensive training on investigating online child predators, collecting evidence and computer forensic information, and seeking private industry assistance in child exploitation investigations.
Representatives from nearly a dozen countries are expected to attend the training conference, including Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama and The Bahamas.
“Child exploitation online is a complex and increasing social problem. In order to solve it, the commitment of governments, private sector, nongovernmental organizations and the civil society is required,” said Rosalia Gil, minister of childhood for Costa Rica. “This event is a joint effort of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Microsoft, INTERPOL and governments, where each party actively cooperates in the implementation of policies and actions to avoid and fight against those who exploit our children for their own aims.”
“This an excellent example of how INTERPOL, a nongovernmental organization and private enterprise, can work together to provide law enforcement officers with techniques that will help them better combat criminal use of the Internet by people who have a sexual interest in children, and particularly the exchange of images of child abuse,” said Hamish McCulloch, Interpol’s assistant director, Trafficking in Human Beings. “The success of the International Centre’s International Training Initiative in Lyon, France, in December 2003 led to this one in Costa Rica. With the continued support from Microsoft, Interpol looks forward to future training sessions and the results they will bring.”
“This type of criminal activity is an international issue transcending borders and jurisdictions,” said Ruben Rodriguez, director of Domestic and International Law Enforcement Affairs at the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and one of the organizers of the conference. “This course is designed to aid law enforcement from all parts of the world in the development of the skills and knowledge necessary to address this type of crime. The International Centre, with the important contributions from Microsoft, is delighted to have the opportunity to help in this very important endeavor.”
“The use of the Internet to facilitate the commission of crimes against children is an increasing problem around the world and one that is best addressed through government and private partnerships,” said Juan Carlos Guzman, Microsoft senior attorney. “We’re pleased to assist Interpol and the International Centre in the effort to increase public awareness and expand on the range of tools available to law enforcement to investigate these crimes and protect children from further exploitation online. Helping secure cyberspace cannot be done alone. Microsoft recognizes that the international Internet community needs more government and industry partnerships like this one and is pleased to share technical knowledge and resources.”
Partnership Program With Law Enforcement
The International Centre’s training program is a critical component of a comprehensive international action agenda originally established at the first Global Forum on Child Pornography in Dublin, Ireland, at the offices of the European Parliament on Oct. 16, 2002. As part of the forum, the group established a 10-point plan for addressing the problem internationally, the details of which can be found at http://www.icmec.org/ . The International Centre’s training program equips law enforcement representatives from around the world with the tools they need to investigate and apprehend criminals who use the Internet to perpetrate crimes against children. Trainees learn technical investigative techniques, forensic skills and how to psychologically assess predators.
Microsoft’s role in the training conference is one of many approaches the company is taking to help ensure safety on the Internet. The company recently provided financial support to a conference conducted by INHOPE in Berlin, called “The Internet in 2004: Safe or Just Safer?” INHOPE is the coordinating body for the Association of Internet Hotline Providers in Europe and is funded under the EU Safer Internet program. INHOPE works closely with the International Centre to exchange reports and facilitate an international dialogue.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
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Global Campaign Against Child Pornography is Launched by International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children | ICMEC | APR 22, 2004
Sheila Johnson, Microsoft Donate Combined $1 Million To Help Law Enforcement Combat Child Exploitation on the Internet
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to address the ever-increasing use of the Internet to victimize young people and the insidious threat of sex crimes against children, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (the International Centre) (http://www.icmec.org/) today announced the launch of its Global Campaign Against Child Pornography. Bolstered by a combined $1 million donation by philanthropist and International Centre board member Sheila C. Johnson and Microsoft Corp. (http://www.microsoft.com/), this effort intensifies the ongoing, collaborative work of international law enforcement, organizations and individuals. The announcement was made at a press conference attended by key international law enforcement representatives, including Secretary General Ronald K. Noble of Interpol (http://www.interpol.int/).
Online child exploitation is a serious worldwide problem. In 2003 alone, more than 200,000 reports of Internet-related child pornography were made to the domestic center’s CyberTipline (http://www.cybertipline.org/). In addition, a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice found that one in five children between the ages of 10 and 17 has received unwanted sexual solicitations online.
In response to these staggering statistics, in 2002 the International Centre, global law enforcement and others devised in Dublin, Ireland, a worldwide action agenda for combating child pornography. From that conference emerged five main action items, dubbed “The Dublin Plan,” all of which the Global Campaign Against Child Pornography will assist in tackling:
- To create an international child pornography monitoring and oversight system
- To develop and promote systems for identifying the victims of child pornography
- To enhance the capacity of law enforcement to investigate and prosecute child pornography
- To develop model legislation and ensure consistency of laws between nations and promote stronger involvement by private-sector entities
- To build public awareness of the problem of child pornography
Through Johnson’s $500,000 donation and Microsoft’s equal match, the $1 million is already providing training to law enforcement personnel around the world. The first of thus far three four-day training sessions in combating computer-facilitated crimes against children took place in France in December; the second was held in Costa Rica in February; and the third will conclude today in Brazil. Nearly 300 law enforcement officers from 90 countries have benefited from these sessions and hundreds more are expected to participate this year. The International Centre plans as many as 10 training sessions per year.
“To combat global networks of child pornographers, we must all become a global network of child protectors,” Johnson said. “The sexual victimization of children — a problem that is overwhelming in magnitude yet largely unrecognized and underreported — demands our immediate, collective and global action.”
“It is critical that the Internet, the source of so much benefit for students and educators, not be undermined by those who harm children,” said Nancy Anderson, deputy general counsel at Microsoft. “Sheila has brought all of us together to not just talk about this issue, but to actually do something about it. And the doing has already begun. The Internet must remain a place that is safe and conducive to learning, not an instrument for criminals.”
“The Internet knows no geographical borders and recognizes no jurisdictional boundaries,” Noble said. “And neither do the criminals who use it to exploit children. Only through worldwide collaborations and partnerships like the ones we see here today can we rescue the world’s children from this kind of exploitation.”
“We are thrilled today to bring together such a diverse group of engaged parties to ignite this important campaign,” said Ernie Allen, president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. “Through Interpol’s unwavering worldwide reach and Sheila Johnson and Microsoft’s combined contribution, we are able to take the next step in addressing the horrific abuses that victims of child pornography endure.”
“This is a growing problem that needs to be addressed,” said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell. “It is going to take resources and public awareness to combat child pornography. I commend this unique collaboration of people for taking on this fight.”
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN
The International Centre is the leading global service agency working to protect the world’s children from exploitation and abduction. For more information on the International Centre, please visit http://www.icmec.org.
ABOUT SHEILA C. JOHNSON
Sheila C. Johnson, an entrepreneur and philanthropist and educator, is the co-founder of Black Entertainment Television. As a director of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, Johnson not only lends her financial support to the organization, but will also be attending training sessions at strategic sites around the world.
Interpol was set up in 1923 to facilitate cross-border criminal police cooperation. Today, it is the largest international police organization in the world, with 181 member countries spread over five continents.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. ######### Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. For more information, print and online media only: International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children David Shapiro, +1 (703) 837-6223, firstname.lastname@example.org Sheila Johnson Vicki Bendure, Bendure Communications, +1 (202) 374-9259, email@example.com Microsoft United States Erin McGhee, Waggener Edstrom, +1 (425) 638-7423, firstname.lastname@example.org Rapid Response Team, Waggener Edstrom, +1 (503) 443-7070, email@example.com Europe Shaun Wootton, Waggener Edstrom, +44 20 7269 4770 Hong Kong Bridget Yau, +852 2804-4220, firstname.lastname@example.org Asia regional Charlene Chian, +65 64335672, email@example.com Interpol firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.interpol.int/ Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft® Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft .com/presspass/contactpr.asp.
Missing Children’s Groups Support Bi-Partisan Legislation to Tackle International Child Abductions | ICMEC | MAY 12, 2004
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Announce New Partnership with The Hague
Alexandria, VA – The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children are calling international child abductions ”A growing phenomenon that affects every nation.” Yet, the organizations emphasize there are not enough resources to fight the problem. In light of this urgent need, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International Relations and the Congressional Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children are introducing legislation that includes Congressional support for an increase in the U.S contribution to the budget of the Permanent Bureau at The Hague by $150,000. It will also provide NCMEC and the U.S. Department of State access to the Internal Revenue Service database for use in tracking down abducting parents; a national registry of child custody orders to provide law enforcement and courts ready access to information they need to determine appropriate jurisdictional issues; and authorizes law enforcement to take any child intro protective custody who has been entered into the National Crime Information Center’s Missing Person File, among other provisions.
“According to the State Department, at any given time, there are approximately 1,100 open cases of international child abductions by parents or close relatives to or from the United States,” says Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC and International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. “And we know that there are many more unreported cases.”
Today House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R-IL), House International Relations Committee Ranking Member Tom Lantos (D-CA), Congressional Caucus on Missing & Exploited Children Founder and Chairman Nick Lampson (D-TX) and numerous other members will express support for the legislation which they believe will improve the tools and resources of The Hague so it can create a roadmap to resolve these cross border cases.
The Hague Permanent Bureau’s core budget that facilities the return of internationally abducted children is relatively small, thus most of the activities necessary to tackle the problems of the Child Abduction Convention are dependent on supplemental funds. The $150,000 increase of The Hague’s budget will provide:
- A more consistent and uniform implementation of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
- The creation of good practice guides for Hague member states
- Solutions to problems of abduction and access/visitation arising between Hague States and Non- Hague States, with a focus on Islamic countries
- The development of a Judicial Training Institute
The announcement comes as a great relief to parents like Haifa Bale, whose 10-year-old daughter was kidnapped by the child’s father at age four. “Undoubtedly, this increase by the United States gives families renewed hope that a system will finally be created to help resolve international differences so that our children are reunited with those who love them.”
Hans van Loon, Secretary General of The Hague Permanent Bureau, equally welcomes the proposed legislation: “We are looking forward to having the resources necessary to get more help to signatory countries to resolve cross border disputes involving children and to further discussions with states that are not yet signatory to The Hague Convention.”
In addition, the International Centre and The Hague Permanent Bureau will announce their cooperation on the issue of international child abduction, including their efforts to enlist the support of other countries to increase funding for The Hague’s core budget.
ABOUT THE HAGUE CONVENTION AND THE HAGUE CONFERENCE
The Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction was a step forward in dealing with cases on international child abduction in a more uniform, consistent way. The two main objectives of The Hague Convention are to return children to their home country as speedily as possible, and to organize and secure effective access of the left-behind parents to children. The Hague Conference on Private International Law is the international intergovernmental organization responsible for developing and overseeing numerous private international treaties, including The Hague Convention. Working in cooperation with governments, central authorities, judges, non-governmental organizations, and others, The Hague Conference coordinates efforts to ensure that the implementation of its Conventions are effective and consistent among Contracting States. For more information visit: http://www.hcch.net.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, Virginia. Recognizing the unique issues surrounding international child abductions, NCMEC’s International Division provides information and support to parents, law enforcement, and attorneys. For more information about NCMEC, call 1800-THE-LOST (1800-843-5678) or visit: http://www.missingkids.com.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE
The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children is the leading global service agency working to protect the world’s children from exploitation and abduction. For more information about ICMEC, call 703-837-3900, or visit: www.icmec.org.
Microsoft Joins Child Safety Advocates, Law Enforcement for Fourth Global Law Enforcement Training in Paarl, South Africa | ICMEC | SEP 6, 2004
PAARL, SOUTH AFRICA/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – To address the growing problem of children’s safety on the Internet around the world, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, Interpol and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) continue their series of international training programs for law enforcement personnel who investigate computer-facilitated crimes against children this week in Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
The training conference, which begins Sept. 6 and runs through Sept. 9, brings together 73 worldwide law enforcement representatives from 12 countries for four days of extensive training on investigating online child predators, collecting evidence and computer forensic information, and seeking private industry assistance in child exploitation investigations. Representatives from Botswana, France, Ghana, Italy, Lesotho, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe are meeting in Paarl this week
The fourth in the series of international law enforcement trainings follows successful sessions held in France, Brazil and Costa Rica earlier this year with more than 300 law enforcement officials representing 100 countries having participated in the training. The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children plans to conduct eight intensive training programs per year around the world. “Child exploitation online is a complex and increasing social problem,” said Sheila C. Johnson, a board member of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. “To combat global networks of child pornographers, we must all become a global network of child protectors.”
“This type of criminal activity is an international issue transcending borders and jurisdictions,” said John Stamnes, crime intelligence officer at Interpol, who will conduct some of the training. “This course is designed to aid law enforcement all over the world in the development of skills and knowledge necessary to address this type of crime.”
“The use of the Internet to facilitate crimes against children is an increasing problem around the world and one that is best addressed with the collaboration of government, law enforcement and the private sector,” said Pam Portin, director of children’s online child safety at Microsoft. “Microsoft’s role in the training conference is one of many approaches the company is taking to help ensure safety on the Internet. We’re pleased to assist organizations like Interpol and the International Centre in the effort to increase public awareness and expand on the range of technology-based tools available to law enforcement.”
Stamnes, Johnson and Portin will join media representatives, commissioners of police, South Africa’s National Prosecutions Agency and members of civil society at a community round table on the issue of children’s online safety Thursday, Sept. 9, in Cape Town. Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. NOTE: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
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Missing Children’s Website Launched in Dublin | ICMEC | SEP 15, 2004
CA Ireland proud to be involved in utilising Web-technology to bring relief to families of missing children
DUBLIN, IRELAND – In conjunction with An Garda Síochána and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (International Centre), Computer Associates (CA) will today support the launch of http://ie.missingkids.com/, a Website dedicated to reuniting missing children in Ireland with their families.
The launch, which takes place today at An Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, marks a major development in the efforts of An Garda Síochána to tackle the issue of missing children in Ireland.
Using the Web-site, An Garda Síochána can select suitable cases to post photographs of missing children along with detailed descriptions of the individuals, and use age-progression technology to reveal how the children may look today.
CA is providing technology and support and hosting services to the Web-site as part of a global commitment to support the work of the International Centre and Missing Children’s Websites. The site in Ireland follows successful initiatives in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, also supported by CA.
“Fortunately most persons reported missing to An Garda Síochána are located, usually within a relatively short period of time,” said Superintendent Kieran Kenny of the Garda Missing Person Bureau, who will be heading up the Missing Children’s Website initiative in Ireland. “A missing child is a parent’s worst nightmare. The magnitude of the impact when someone goes missing affects not only the family and loved ones of the missing person, but the community as a whole. Anything we can do to resolve that situation more quickly is very much a priority for An Garda.”
“CA has been operating in Ireland for eighteen years now but we rarely get an opportunity to see technology have such a direct and beneficial impact on our local community,” adds Matt Brennan, Ireland country manager, Computer Associates who also attended the launch. “We are just proud to be involved.”
“The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children is grateful for the cooperation of An Garda Síochána and Computer Associates. We are honored to have An Garda join this online network to help find and recover missing children,” said International Centre Vice Chair, Mary Banotti. “Ireland is a key partner in this international effort that uses technology to reunite missing children with their families and to provide parents with prevention information,” she continued.
The Website forms part of the Global Missing Children’s Network established by the International Centre to enable instant and global distribution of photographs and information on missing children. Including the Web-site in Ireland there are now 15 active Websites with over 3000 missing children cases posted.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children is the leading global service agency working to protect the world’s children from exploitation and abduction.
Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE:CA), the world’s largest management software company, delivers software and services across operations, security, storage, life cycle and service management to optimize the performance, reliability and efficiency of enterprise IT environments. CA has been present and operational in Ireland since 1986 and is a proud member of the local community with 27 staff employed at the Dublin headquarters in Embassy House, Ballsbridge.
ICMEC recommends contacting the U.S. Department of State for information about U.S. citizens affected by the tsunami | ICMEC | JAN 6, 2004
For information about the welfare and whereabouts of U.S. citizens in South East Asia, please call 1-888-407-4747 or visit the U.S. Department of State web site at:http://www.state.gov/p/sa/tsunami/index.htm.