Our Mission

Every child deserves a safe childhood.

We work to make the world safer for children by eradicating child abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation.

For 20 years, ICMEC has been a leader in identifying gaps in the global community’s ability to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, and expertly assembling the people, resources and tools needed to fill those gaps.

Safeguarding children around the world is a responsibility every one of us shares — creating a world that is safer for today’s children and safer still tomorrow. To this end, we advocate, train and collaborate to protect the world’s children. We offer support to governments, policymakers, law enforcement, prosecutors, industry, civil society, and others across the globe.

Our Work

We advocate for children around the world.

We advocate for changes in laws, treaties and systems to protect children worldwide.

Through The Koons Family Institute on International Law & Policy, we conduct and commission original research into the status of child protection laws around the world in an effort to bring about change. By creating replicable legal tools, promoting best practices, building international coalitions, and collaborating with partners in the field to identify and measure threats to children, we bring about change in the way children are protected around the world.

We train partners on the front lines.

We provide support, training and expertise to governments, law enforcement, policymakers, industry, civil society, educators, healthcare professionals, and others across the globe with one goal in mind: to make the world a safer place for all children.

We collaborate with key stakeholders.

Strong partnerships play a vital role in protecting our children, particularly as the crisis of child victimization is exacerbated by the Internet. We collaborate globally with civil society, governments and private industry, encouraging partnerships and coordination.

With initiatives like the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography, the Global Missing Children’s Network and the Global Initiative for Child Health & Well-Being, we are fostering cooperation across borders to build networks that allow for information-sharing and better practices.

 


 

Our Regional Offices

Our regional representatives allow us to make our mission truly global. Offices in Brazil and Singapore work to serve Latin American & the Caribbean (ICMEC LAC) and Asia-Pacific (ICMEC AP) regions, allowing us to respond to local and regional needs, develop customized programs, and raise awareness of our mission areas.

 


 

Our History

In 1996, Belgium was shaken by tragedy. A man named Marc Dutroux, an unemployed electrician and father of three, had over the course of many years committed a series of kidnappings, rapes, and killings of a still-unknown number of teenage girls. Called the “Dutroux Affair,” the episode galvanized Belgium, and more than 300,000 Belgian citizens came together to express their anger and frustration in the handling of the case in the now-famous “White March.”

Belgian Prime Minster Dehaene turned to the U.S. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children(NCMEC) for help.

In the late 1990s, NCMEC had found itself responding to numerous requests for assistance from individuals and organizations around the world. The “Dutroux Affair” was the latest. So when Prime Minister Dehaene asked NCMEC to help establish a center in Brussels, NCMEC’s President replied, “You do not need an American solution to this problem — you need a Belgian solution.”

With the volume of requests for assistance from abroad exceeding NCMEC’s capacity to respond, the Board of Directors authorized the creation of a new organization that would devote itself to doing globally what NCMEC was committed to doing in the United States.

A year later, members of the Board of Directors for the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) held their first meeting in 1998, and ICMEC was launched in April 1999. With each new partnership, each new initiative, we take another step toward our goal of making the world safer for children.