2010 International Center for Missing & Exploited Children Press Release Documents

Go Daddy Joins Leading Financial Institutions and Internet Service Providers to Eliminate Child Pornography on the Internet | ICMEC | MAR 21, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information
media@ncmec.org
(703) 837-6111

 

GO DADDY JOINS LEADING FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS
AND INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDERS TO
ELIMINATE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY ON THE INTERNET

Go Daddy, the World’s Largest Internet Domain Name Registrar Partners with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and Others
to Stop the Sale of Child Pornography Online

ALEXANDRIA, VA – March 31, 2010 The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) today announced that GO DADDY has joined the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography (FCACP). Go Daddy joins thirty-one leading financial institutions and Internet Service Providers which make up the FCACP that is hosted by NCMEC and its sister organization the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC).

Go Daddy is an Internet domain name registrar and Web host provider that also offers Web site builders, secure server products and e-business related software and services. Over the years Go Daddy has worked to protect children online and was a strong advocate of the Protect Our Children Act of 2008.

“The addition of Go Daddy to the coalition gives us additional expertise in trying to block the sale of child pornography on the Internet. One critical element in eradicating this illegal activity is to eliminate the profitability of these enterprises,” said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC and ICMEC.”Go Daddy will help us address issues related to domain name abuse and expands the arsenal of tools available to make it more difficult for those who seek to profit from the sexual exploitation of children over the Internet.”

Child pornography is estimated to have become a multi-billion dollar commercial enterprise and is among the fastest growing businesses on the Internet. Through the Internet, thousands and possibly millions of individuals are able to access child pornography. The exact number of child pornography Web sites is difficult to determine. In 2001, the CyberTipline, a national reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation that is operated by NCMEC, received more than 24,000 reports of child pornography. To date, more than 713,000 reports of child pornography have been received.

Launched in 2006, the FCACP is a unique collaboration of the nation’s leading banks, credit card companies, third party payment companies and Internet services companies that are working together to remove commercial child pornography from the Internet. Members of the FCACP represent nearly 90% of the U.S. payments industry.

The objective of the FCACP is to disrupt the payment systems that are used to purchase child pornography and eliminate its profitability. The group focuses on following the funds and has been successful in shutting down payment accounts that are used by illegal enterprises to sell child pornography online.

The ability to use credit cards and other traditional payment methods to purchase child pornography made it very easy to obtain. However, the FCACP has worked to disrupt these payment systems and has all but eliminated the ability to use credit cards. Unfortunately, new types of payment systems continue to emerge which the FCACP is targeting in an effort to make child pornography difficult to purchase and difficult from which to profit.

Other members of the FCACP include: AOL, American Express Company, Banco Bradesco, Bank of America, Bank of New York – Mellon, Capital One, Chase Paymentech Solutions, CheckFree, Citigroup, CyberSource-Authorize.Net, Deutsche Bank Americas, Discover Financial Services, Elavon, First Data Corporation, First National Bank of Omaha, Global Payments Inc., Google, HSBC – North America, JP Morgan Chase, MasterCard, Microsoft, National Processing Company, North American Bancard, PayPal, Premier Bankcard, ProPay Inc., Standard Chartered Bank, Visa, Wells Fargo, Western Union, and Yahoo! Inc.

 

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 2,447,000 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 148,400 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 812,900 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 31,836,600 pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.



Ernie Allen Speech at the International Judicial Conference on Cross-Border Family Relocation | ICMEC | MAR 23, 2010

Opening Remarks

Ernie Allen
President & Chief Executive Officer
International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

International Judicial Conference on Cross-Border Family Relocation

March 23, 2010

 

In his “State of the Union” address in 1998, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said, “Quietly, but with gathering force, the ground has shifted beneath our feet as we have moved into an Information Age, a global economy, a truly new world.”

He was right.  Our world has changed in fundamental ways, some positive, some not.   The world has shrunk.  The concept of global neighborhood is not as far-fetched as it once seemed.

In many areas this era of easy global travel and communications has presented endless possibilities and opportunities.  In the area of family law, it has also created some seemingly unsolvable challenges.  Over the next three days, we will grapple with an increasing phenomenon in which a custodial parent seeks to relocate with his or her child to another city, another country, even to the other side of the world.

For judges, this presents a Solomon-like dilemma.  If you approve it, you effectively deny reasonable access for the left-behind parent to his or her child.  If you don’t approve it, you effectively deny what might have been a life-changing opportunity for the other parent and the child.  This is a human challenge of the highest order, but it is also a daunting legal challenge, one that may be handled very differently depending on what judge in what court in what country actually handles the case.

We at the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children are pleased to have the opportunity to join with our friends at the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the U.S. State Department in hosting this important international judicial conference.  We are honored and deeply grateful that so many judges, scholars and experts from around the world would take the time to participate in the discussions of the next three days.  We look forward to your conclusions and recommendations, and to assisting in the effort to put them into practice around the world.

The International Centre is working tirelessly to address this and other challenges in law and policy.  In partnership with Interpol and Microsoft, we have trained police in 114 countries in the investigation of computer-facilitated crimes against children.  We are implementing new technology tools for law enforcement in many countries.

We have created a global missing children’s network, now linking 17 countries.  We are working with parliamentary leaders to enact new laws regarding child sexual exploitation and child pornography.  We are helping to set up new centers addressing the problems of child abduction and sexual exploitation in many countries.

Through our new Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy, we are attempting to create a kind of Brookings Institution for children, undertaking policy-related research and analysis in fields related to child abduction and exploitation.  Our goal is to build greater knowledge, awareness and understanding for policy makers and the general public on a range of difficult issues relating to children.  Today, the Koons Institute is a reality thanks to the kindness of world-renowned artist, Jeff Koons, himself a victim parent, whose child was abducted and taken internationally.

I am particularly proud of the long-standing partnership between the International Centre and the Hague Conference, with whom we are collaborating on this conference.  We will work together to spread the word to the entire international community.

One year ago, some of you were with us in Cairo as the International Centre convened a forum, chaired by Her Excellency Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the First Lady of the Arab Republic of Egypt.  The forum examined several pressing issues facing the world’s children.  Two of those who addressed that conference are with us today:  Hague Deputy Secretary General William Duncan and the Deputy Chief Justice of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt, Adel Omar Sherif.  At the close of the session, the attendees adopted what was called, “The Cairo Declaration.”  One of the key provisions read as follows:

“Family disputes can have a devastating impact on children.  Parents have the responsibility to shield their children from the negative effects of family discord.  Children must not be used as proxies for battles between parents, and both mothers and fathers should seek to mediate peacefully disagreements about their children’s futures.”

The Cairo Declaration urged global leaders to “explore bilateral and multilateral approaches to resolving family disputes, including mediation, in order to ensure that the children are not the victims.”

As judges, central authorities and practitioners in the field know all too well, there are no easy answers and sometimes no completely fair answers in cases of child relocation, particularly internationally.

Our hope and conviction is that we will seize the opportunity presented by these next three days, and that this will be more than a conference.  It will be an opportunity to share experiences and insights, learn from each other and generate real solutions.  We look forward to your findings, conclusions and recommendations.  We are committed to work with you to bring greater consistency, uniformity and humanity as we address these complex, difficult situations worldwide.



Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation | ICMEC | MAR 25, 2010

INTERNATIONAL JUDICIAL CONFERENCE ON
CROSS-BORDER FAMILY RELOCATION

WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
23-25 MARCH 2010

co-organised by
Hague Conference on Private International Law
International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children

with the support of
United States Department of State

 

WASHINGTON DECLARATION ON
INTERNATIONAL FAMILY RELOCATION

 

On 23-25 March 2010, more than 50 judges and other experts from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Egypt, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States of America, including experts from the Hague Conference on Private International Law and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, met in Washington, D.C. to discuss cross-border family relocation. They agreed on the following:

Availability of Legal Procedures Concerning International Relocation
1.
States should ensure that legal procedures are available to apply to the competent authority for the right to relocate with the child. Parties should be strongly encouraged to use the legal procedures and not to act unilaterally.

Reasonable Notice of International Relocation

2.
The person who intends to apply for international relocation with the child should, in the best interests of the child, provide reasonable notice of his or her intention before commencing proceedings or, where proceedings are unnecessary, before relocation occurs.
Factors Relevant to Decisions on International Relocation
3.
In all applications concerning international relocation the best interests of the child should be the paramount (primary) consideration. Therefore, determinations should be made without any presumptions for or against relocation.
4.
In order to identify more clearly cases in which relocation should be granted or refused, and to promote a more uniform approach internationally, the exercise of judicial discretion should be guided in particular, but not exclusively, by the following factorslisted in no order of priority.  The weight to be given to any one factor will vary from case to case:
i) the right of the child separated from one parent to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis in a manner consistent with the child’s development, except if the contact is contrary to the child’s best interest;
ii) the views of the child having regard to the child’s age and maturity;
iii) the parties’ proposals for the practical arrangements for relocation, including accommodation, schooling and employment;
iv) where relevant to the determination of the outcome, the reasons for seeking or opposing the relocation;
v) any history of family violence or abuse, whether physical or psychological;
vi) the history of the family and particularly the continuity and quality of past and current care and contact arrangements;
vii) pre-existing custody and access determinations;
viii) the impact of grant or refusal on the child, in the context of his or her extended family, education and social life, and on the parties;
ix) the nature of the inter-parental relationship and the commitment of the applicant to support and facilitate the relationship between the child and the respondent after the relocation;
x) whether the parties’ proposals for contact after relocation are realistic, having particular regard to the cost to the family and the burden to the child;
xi) the enforceability of contact provisions ordered as a condition of relocation in the State of destination;
xii) issues of mobility for family members; and
xiii) any other circumstances deemed to be relevant by the judge.
5.
While these factors may have application to domestic relocation they are primarily directed to international relocation and thus generally involve considerations of international family law.
6.
The factors reflect research findings concerning children’s needs and development in the context of relocation.
The Hague Conventions of 1980 on International Child Abduction and 1996 on International Child Protection
7.
It is recognised that the Hague Conventions of 1980 and 1996 provide a global framework for international co-operation in respect of cross-border family relocations. The 1980 Convention provides the principal remedy (the order for the return of the child) for unlawful relocations. The 1996 Convention allows for the establishment and (advance) recognition and enforcement of relocation orders and the conditions attached to them. It facilitates direct co-operation between administrative and judicial authorities between the two States concerned, as well as the exchange of information relevant to the child’s protection. With due regard to the domestic laws of the States, this framework should be seen as an integral part of the global system for the protection of children’s rights. States that have not already done so are urged to join these Conventions.
Promoting Agreement
8.
The voluntary settlement of relocation disputes between parents should be a major goal. Mediation and similar facilities to encourage agreement between the parents should be promoted and made available both outside and in the context of court proceedings.  The views of the child should be considered, having regard to the child’s age and maturity, within the various processes.
Enforcement of Relocation Orders
9.
Orders for relocation and the conditions attached to them should be able to be enforced in the State of destination. Accordingly States of destination should consider making orders that reflect those made in the State of origin. Where such authority does not exist, States should consider the desirability of introducing appropriate enabling provisions in their domestic law to allow for the making of orders that reflect those made in the State of origin.
Modification of Contact Provisions
10.
Authorities in the State of destination should not terminate or reduce the left behind parent’s contact unless substantial changes affecting the best interests of the child have occurred.
Direct Judicial Communications
11.
Direct judicial communications between judges in the affected jurisdictions are encouraged to help establish, recognise and enforce, replicate and modify, where necessary, relocation orders.
Research
12.
It is recognised that additional research in the area of relocation is necessary to analyse trends and outcomes in relocation cases.
Further Development and Promotion of Principles
13.
The Hague Conference on Private International Law, in co-operation with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, is encouraged to pursue the further development of the principles set out in this Declaration and to consider the feasibility of embodying all or some of these principles in an international instrument. To this end, they are encouraged to promote international awareness of these principles, for example through judicial training and other capacity building programmes.


Judges Around the World Struggle with Increase in Child Custody Disputes Between Parents Who Want to Move and the Parent Who is Left Behind | ICMEC | MAR 29, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
media@ncmec.org
(703) 837-6111
001+1+703 837-6111

 

JUDGES AROUND THE WORLD STRUGGLE WITH INCREASE IN CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES BETWEEN PARENTS WHO WANT TO MOVE AND THE PARENT WHO IS LEFT BEHIND

For Judges this presents a Solomon-like Dilemma. Whatever the Decision,
Someone is Harmed.

 

Alexandria, VA. USA – March 29, 2010. Today’s easy global travel has created unsolvable challenges in family law as judges grapple with a dramatic increase in the number of cases involving a parent who wants to move to another country with the child over the objections of the other parent.

For judges, this presents a Solomon-like dilemma. If the request is approved, the left-behind parent is denied reasonable access to his or her child. If the request is not approved, what might have been a life-changing opportunity for the other parent and child is denied. It is a daunting legal challenge that is handled very differently depending on the judge, the court and the country the case is handled.

More than 50 judges and other experts from fourteen countries attended an unusual meeting last week in Washington, DC to discuss these types of cases which judges call “cross-border family relocation.” The meeting, the “International Judicial Conference on Cross-Border Family Relocation,” was organized by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and the Hague Conference on Private International Law and was hosted by the U.S. Department of State on March 23-25. Countries participating included Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Egypt, Germany, India, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

“This is a huge and growing problem. Judges are seeing a dramatic increase in these types of cases and are put in a situation of having to make an impossible decision,” said Ernie Allen, president of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.”They represent life-changing situations for the child and left-behind parent. Whatever the decision, someone is harmed and someone is going to suffer a loss.”

At the conclusion of the three-day meeting, the judges and other attendees adopted and issued the “Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation” which is a framework outlining the issues that should be considered by all judges to standardize how these types of cases are handled.

The “Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation” includes thirteen recommendations including:

  • Every state should have legal procedures that address the right to relocate with a child;
  • Reasonable notice should be provided prior to relocation;
  • The best interests of the child should be the primary consideration;
  • Standardized factors judges should consider in all international relocation cases including the right of the child to maintain a personal relationship and contact with both parents, the views of the child (taking into consideration the child’s age and maturity), schooling, employment, existing custody agreements, reasons for relocation, history of family violence or abuse, and other issues;
  • Mediation should be used and a voluntary settlement relocation agreement reached by parents;and
  • All countries should sign on to both the 1980 and 1996 Hague Conventions which provide a solid global framework for international cooperation on this issue.

The full version of the “Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation” can be located at the website for the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children at www.ICMEC.org.