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INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN
GRANTED SPECIAL STATUS WITH UNITED NATIONS

ALEXANDRIA, VA – August 12, 2008. The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) announced today that it has been granted Special Consultative Status with the United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).  The ECOSOC is the UN body that provides guidance and oversight to the General Assembly and the 192 Member States on economic and social matters.  Special Consultative Status is granted to non-governmental organizations with expertise in a particular area.  ICMEC will work with the ECOSOC and provide technical assistance and expertise primarily on the issues of child sexual exploitation and child abduction.

Child abduction and child sexual exploitation are both far-reaching global problems.  The problem of child pornography on the internet has become a multi-billion dollar business which has resulted in the world-wide distribution of millions of images of children being subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation.  International child abduction is a problem that is complicated by laws that vary from country to country.  In the United States alone, nearly 800,000 children are reported missing every year.

“We are honored to be granted Special Consultative Status, and look forward to working with the ECOSOC and others at the UN to address child protection issues on a global basis,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of ICMEC.

Consultative status enables qualified organizations to contribute to the work and goals of the United Nations by serving as technical experts, advisers and consultants.  It is granted to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which demonstrate that their program of work is of direct relevance to the United Nations and which results in a mutually beneficial working relationship.  There are currently more than 3000 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with ECOSOC.   

The ECOSOC is responsible for promoting higher standards of economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic and social problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation among governments, law enforcement, civil society, and the public at large; encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and advocating for legislation, adoption of treaties, and ratification of UN conventions.  The Special Consultative Status was granted to ICMEC during the July 2008 ECOSOC Substantive Session at UN headquarters in New York City.

About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.
ICMEC is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) non-governmental 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 in the United States.  For more information about ICMEC visit www.icmec.org.

Media Contact:  Communications Department (703) 837-6111

 
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