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Operational Centers for Missing & Exploited Children

The search for missing and exploited children and the protection of children from victimization requires a coordinated, comprehensive, and global approach. That is why the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) encourages the creation of new national (or regional) operational centers that are based on a public-private partnership model and that are established with the support of the national government. In light of the worldwide phenomenon of missing and exploited children, it is imperative that child victims be protected and resources be made available to the victims, their families, and the professionals who serve them.


ICMEC Board Member Mihaela Geoana at the Launch of FOCUS
Bucharest, Romania (May 2007)

The need to eliminate child abduction and exploitation on a global level is immense; however, an American solution cannot be applied to the problem. Thus, the creation of centers to meet regional and national goals is vital.

National operational centers currently exist in Belgium (Child Focus), Greece (The Smile of the Child), Romania (FOCUS, the Romanian Center for Missing & Sexually Exploited Children), South Africa (South African Centre for Missing & Exploited Children), and the United States (NCMEC). In the fall of 2010, the Southeastern Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (SEEC) opened its doors in Athens and Thessaloniki. As the first regional operational center, SEEC will serve as a hub for 13 countries.

A number of countries have expressed an interest in working with ICMEC to create national operational centers, and ICMEC is presently working toward the creation of national centers in Bulgaria and Russia.

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