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National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Opens Up the Summer Academy

By July 15, 2019News

The Human Trafficking Academy was thrilled to cooperate with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (“NCMEC”) – the leading and most respectable organization in the country and beyond, dedicated to preventing child abduction, child sexual abuse and exploitation in prostitution and child sexual abuse images, as well as contributing to recovery from victimization.

The weeklong Summer Academy opened with a session entitled Delimitation of the Problem of Sex Trafficking: A Conversation with Callahan Walsh.  This personalized conversation between Mr. Callahan Walsh, NCMEC Child Advocate and a producer of America’s Most Wanted, and Dr. Roza Pati, Founder and Director of the Human Trafficking Academy, shed a light on the crisis of missing and exploited children, including children abused in commercial sexual exploitation, in the United States as well as efforts to address this scourge.

Mr. Walsh discussed the nightmare kidnapping of his brother, Adam Walsh, from a Sears department store in Hollywood, Florida, that ended in his murder in 1981, as well the subsequent formation of a resource of immense opportunities and a real treasure to combat human trafficking as it involves children – NCMEC.

As the nation’s clearinghouse and comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention of and recovery from child victimization, NCMEC leads the fight against abduction, abuse, and exploitation.  Mr. Walsh highlighted the various commendable and effective initiatives of NCMEC, and ended the session with a candid question and answer with participants from the Summer Academy.

In the afternoon session, Academy participants heard from Staca Shehan, Executive Director of the Case Analysis Division of NCMEC, on the topic Selling Children: Technology’s Role in Demand.  In 2018 alone, NCMEC received over 25,000 cases of missing child and over 18 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation.  Ms. Shehan’s course discussed the trends observed in these cases related to the role technology is playing in combating and facilitating child sex trafficking in the United States.  Using several case examples, Ms. Shehan put the lessons learned from these trends into practice — demonstrating the free analytical resources available for law enforcement and prosecutors working to identify and recover children victimized through sex trafficking and then to successfully prosecute those involved in trafficking children.

The Human Trafficking Academy commends the work of NCMEC and highly recommends its solid resources available to the public as follows:

NCMEC’s CyberTipline:
NCMEC’s CyberTipline is the nation’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. The public and electronic service providers can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, extra-familial child sexual molestation, child pornography, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet.  If a child is being sexually exploited online, report it at: www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/cybertipline

KidSmartz is a child safety program that educates families about preventing abduction and empowers kids in grades K-5 to practice safer behaviors. This program offers resources to help parents, caregivers, and teachers protect kids by teaching and practicing the 4 Rules of Personal Safety using tips, printable activities, quizzes, articles, music, videos, and more.  Available at:  www.kidsmartz.org

NetSmartz can help you create a dynamic and engaging Internet safety curriculum.  NCMEC’s resources for educators offer multiple ways to engage students, parents and communities in important lessons in digital citizenship and online safety.  Empower your students to be safer online with NCMEC’s free collection of teaching materials for families and students in grades K-12.  Available at:  www.missingkids.com/netsmartz

Additional NCMEC resources and information can be found on their website at www.missingkids.org.