Major International Conference in Brasilia to Address Global Problem of Missing Children | ICMEC | DEC 4, 2012


At Least 8 Million Children Go Missing Worldwide Each Year
Including 40,000 from Brazil


BRASILIA, BRAZIL – 9 February, 2012.  A major international conference to address the global problem of missing children is being held this week in Brasilia, Brazil.  The US-based International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) today announced that it is holding a meeting of the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) in Brasilia through a collaboration with the Secretariat for Human Rights (SDH) and made possible through generous support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation and the Secretariat of Social Development and Income Transfer of the Federal District (SEDEST).

The problem of missing children is a global issue that needs the attention of law enforcement and government officials around the world.  It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year.  The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that nearly 800,000 children will be reported missing each year in the US.  Other credible sources cite 230,000 children go missing in the United Kingdom each year; 50,500 in Canada; 100,000 in Germany; 45,000 in Mexico; and 39,000 in France.  An estimated 40,000 children go missing each year in Brazil.

The objective of the Global Missing Children’s Network conference is to enable members to share best practices in dealing with the global problem of missing children as well as discuss other issues including street children in Albania, an update on research currently being done; the creation of a missing children’s hotline 116000 in Europe; a child alert program and other items related to missing children.  The meeting is expected to be attended by representatives from fourteen countries of the GMCN.
The GMCN conference will begin with a special session conducted by the Secretariat for Human Rights to discuss national and international best practices in reporting and handling missing children cases.

“The problem of missing children touches every nation.  Yet, most countries lack basic systems to respond.  The Global Missing Children’s Network currently has members from 19 countries.  It needs to have many times that number,” said Ernie Allen, President of ICMEC.  “The meeting this week in Brazil is historic and represents the beginning of a global effort to build effective systems in every country.  We are deeply grateful to the Brazilian government, to the SDH and the SEDEST for their commitment and support.  Brazil is a leader on behalf of the world’s children.  We are also grateful to the Motorola Solutions Foundation, our corporate partner which is helping build and grow the GMCN.”

The Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) was created in 1998 by ICMEC to establish a global network to share best practices, information and strategies on missing children.  Membership in the GMCN includes 19 countries:  Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Members receive annual training and are provided access to an international, multilingual database of information and photographs about missing children from around the world.  Access to the database also enables members to customize their countries’ websites to meet individual needs; quickly create missing child posters and display information and photographs of missing children in their countries.  Previous meetings of the GMCN were held in Travemunde, Germany; Sydney, Australia and Washington, DC in the U.S.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions.  With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates.  They have been a partner of ICMEC since 2010 and share our vision of a global network of many nations to save and protect the world’s children.  In addition to underwriting a portion of the cost of the conference being held this week in Brazil they have also provided a grant to host a training for law enforcement, government ministries and nongovernmental organizations in Brazil.  A previous grant from the foundation resulted in Albania and three additional states in Brazil joining the GMCN.

About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization.  It is the leading agency working on a global basis to combat child abduction and exploitation.  It is the sister organization of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children located in the United States.  For more information visit


Ernie Allen Statement in Response to President Obamas Speech Launching a New Effort to Combat Human Trafficking at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. | ICMEC | OCT 29, 2012


Statement by Ernie Allen, President & CEO
of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

ALEXANDRIA, VA. September 25, 2012. President Barack Obamas statement this morning sent a loud, clear message that human trafficking, including the trafficking of children for sexual purposes, is a serious problem in the United States and worldwide. We are particularly grateful for his commitment to develop new tools to identify and assist trafficking victims, increase resources for victims, mobilize the private sector as never before, and execute a comprehensive plan to attack this problem on multiple fronts.

According to the United Nations, 1.2 million children are trafficked each year worldwide and 1.8 million children are used in commercial sex, many sold into sexual slavery by poor families and others abducted and trafficked into brothels and the sex industry. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime has reported that 79% of human trafficking is sexual exploitation. In the United States, University of Pennsylvania research funded by the Justice Department estimates that at least 100,000 American children each year are the victims of sex trafficking and prostitution.

Todays statement by the President elevates this complex, troubling issue on the national and international agenda as never before. His message is validation of the extraordinary efforts of so many people who have been fighting for these kids, and sends a message that there is hope. Help is on the way.

We are particularly encouraged by the Presidents call for a focus upon technology and his commitment to convene technology leaders to search for new solutions. The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is a leader worldwide in addressing the troubling modern reality that child trafficking has moved from the streets to the Internet.

ICMEC is advocating changes to international treaties and protocols, like the Cybercrime Convention (2001) and the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2000), both of which are largely silent on the use of the Internet for human trafficking, including advertising a trafficking victims sexual services online or receiving payments for such exploitation services via the Internet.

ICMEC is working with parliaments worldwide to change laws on child sexual exploitation, including Internet-based child trafficking. And it is conducting law enforcement training worldwide to increase capacity in every country to confront these complex crimes. ICMEC is also promoting the creation of regional, multi-national law enforcement task forces to attack child trafficking.

We are deeply grateful to President Obama for his leadership and advocacy, and truly believe that this heralds a new chapter in the fight to rescue trafficked children in the United States and around the world. It will help us bring this horrendous problem to an end.


Global Health Leaders Launch Unique Initiative To Address A growing Public Health Crisis Caused By Sexual Exploitation Of Children | ICMEC | OCT 11, 2012


International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Launches New Global Effort Involving Pharmaceutical Companies, the Mayo Clinic, CDC and Others

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, 11 October 2012. The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) today announced the creation of a unique collaboration involving the world’s foremost leaders in health. A new 25-member Global Health Coalition involving leaders that span all areas of the health industry will work together to address the public health crisis affecting today’s youth that has resulted from the sexual abuse and exploitation of children.

“For the first time in history, the health care industry is coming together to attack the scourge of child sexual abuse and exploitation as a public health issue,” said Dr. Franz Humer, Chairman of Roche who also serves as Chairman of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. “This coalition will change the way the world responds to child sexual abuse and exploitation. This is just the beginning. We will work to add more companies and health care leaders. Our commitment is to approach this crisis in the same way we have approached other health crises – through a coordinated global response.”

Researchers estimate that at least one in five girls and one in ten boys will be sexually victimized before they reach age 18, yet only one in three cases are reported. At least 1.8 million children are forced into commercial sex. Studies by the Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others have consistently found that a history of sexual abuse leads to a broad range of health disorders later in adulthood, representing both a lifelong burden for the victims of abuse and a large public health challenge.

Ernie Allen, President and CEO of ICMEC, said, “There are many important international treaties and conventions and there is more attention to this issue today than ever before. Yet, the problem is getting worse. In the past, the world’s primary response to the problem of sexual abuse and exploitation of children has been through law and efforts by law enforcement – which are important. However, there has been no coordinated global effort to address the public health crisis that has emerged. An industry-wide collaboration is needed to effectively change how the world is addressing this problem.”

Efforts of the coalition will include working to prevent child sexual abuse and exploitation through improving medical education; increasing early identification of victims; undertaking epidemiological research; identifying gaps in treatment for victims; and improving mental health services. The new Global Health Coalition includes pharmaceutical companies from six nations, plus leading health care institutions including the renowned Mayo Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, leading child abuse experts and others.

Dr. Daniel Broughton of the Mayo Clinic stated, “2010 Mayo Clinic study found that a history of sexual abuse is associated with suicide attempts, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, and eating and sleep disorders. Sexual victimization changes a child’s brain and has serious implications for a child’s health for the rest of his or her life. It creates a risk of mental and physical health problems, including a risk of death from diabetes, cancer and heart disease.”

The founding members of the coalition include Roche (Switzerland); Almirall (Spain); GlaxoSmithKline (UK); Merck (US); Menarini (Italy); UCB (Belgium); Forest Laboratories (US); the Mayo Clinic (US); the CDC (US); Bambino Gesu (the Vatican); the American Academy of Pediatrics (US); InterPharma (Switzerland)and many others.

ICMEC has had a remarkable success through convening and managing other voluntary industry coalitions. ICMEC also manages the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography, which includes 34 financial and Internet companies which have worked to eradicate commercial child pornography. ICMEC also manages the Technology Coalition, nine major Internet companies, which are developing and implementing new technologies to disrupt the ability of offenders to use the Internet to exploit or traffic children. For example, ICMEC is providing new, free technology for industry and law enforcement worldwide including Microsoft’s PhotoDNA and CETS (Child Exploitation Trafficking System).


Law Enforcement Training for Child Abduction Cases To Be Held in Central America | ICMEC | FEB 9, 2012


US-Based International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children Will Create Training Through Motorola Solutions Foundation Public Safety Grant

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, 4 December, 2012. The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) today announced it has received a $90,000 grant from the Motorola Solutions Foundations Public Safety and Security Institute which is the charitable arm of Motorola Solutions Inc.

The grant will enable ICMEC to conduct training and provide technical assistance to first-responders and other law enforcement in Central America. The training will include investigative techniques for missing children and abduction cases and information on how to create and implement an AMBER Alert program among other things. Central America is an important region due to the high migration to the U.S. as well as the rise of human trafficking from South America through Central America to the U.S. Training will be provided to law enforcement at no cost.

The grant will also be used by ICMEC to host a major international conference in England in 2013 to address the global problem of missing children. The conference will coincide with the annual meeting of ICMECs Global Missing Childrens Network which was created in 1998 to share best practices, information and strategies on missing children on a global basis. Membership in the network includes 22 countries including Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Child abduction is a global problem. At least 8 million children go missing each year yet most countries lack systems to assist and many do not even count those who go missing. An estimated 800,000 children were reported missing in the United States; 230,000 children were reported missing in the United Kingdom from 2009 to 2010; 100,000 in Germany; 50,000 in Canada; 45,000 in Mexico; 40,000 in Brazil; 39,000 in France; and 20,000 in Spain.

Through ICMECs Global Missing Childrens Network we are building a global response to missing and abducted child cases which was expanded in 2012 to include Belarus, Poland and Russia, said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of ICMEC. We are deeply grateful to Motorola for its partnership and support which will enable us to further expand the network, bring new training and technical assistance to more law enforcement in 2013 and move us closer to a truly global approach to the problem of child abduction.

The Motorola Solutions Foundations Public Safety Grants aim to support safety education and training programs for first responders, their families and the general public in the United States and Canada.

Motorola Solutions is dedicated to helping people be their best in the moments that matter, said Matt Blakely, director of the Motorola Solutions Foundation. Motorola Solutions Foundation aligns itself with this mission by supporting programs like the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children that train people how to respond to public safety issues. We are proud to see these valuable programs make a positive impact in the communities where we live and work around the world.

Through the Public Safety and Security Institute, the Motorola Solutions Foundation serves as an investor, convener and supporter of issues that affect the public safety of communities worldwide, providing leadership in the sector to drive innovation and grow and engage the network of those interested in these issues.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation provides grants around the world with an emphasis on programming in communities where Motorola Solutions has a significant presence. For 84 years, Motorola has worked side-by-side with law enforcement to develop the solutions that support its mission. Since 2007, the foundation has provided over $25M in grants to public safety organizations in the U.S and Canada.