Every year we work to protect millions of children from the threats of sexual exploitation, abuse, and going missing. Those are millions of minds vulnerable, a million hearts exploited, a million families torn apart.
Elieth Samara was one of those children. At just 19 days old, this beautiful baby girl was abducted in Guatemala. Watch her story now:
“I hope the organization keeps growing, keeps giving their all. They are people I will never forget for the rest of my life.”Nayelly, Elieth Samara's mother
Baby Elieth was found and returned to the safety of her mother’s arms thanks to a coordinated investigation assisted by ICMEC, which called upon dozens of trained professionals around the globe. Elieth’s safe recovery follows more than 5 years of work in Guatemala, where ICMEC has partnered to establish a foundation for effective child protection standards.
ICMEC’s work in Guatemala began by providing training for criminal justice professionals. Since then, ICMEC has worked with partners in Guatemala to:
- establish Latin America’s first Specialized Unit Against Online Child Sexual Exploitation within the Public Ministry in the Prosecutor’s Office Against Human Trafficking
- develop protocols for the effective use of Guatemala’s emergency missing child alert system, Alba-Keneth Alerts
- introduced Facebook rapid emergency alerts in Guatemala to enhance the national response and engage the general public in the search for missing children in the most urgent cases
ICMEC’s partnership continues in Guatemala with the launch of our first Multisectoral Response and Capacity Assessment (MRC Assessment). Working closely with local consultants, our team is conducting the first-of-its-kind comprehensive gap assessment of national laws and policies, response programs, coordination systems, and institutional and professional capacity to effectively safeguard children. An estimated 8 million Guatemalan children stand to directly benefit from this program as we identify – and work to close – the most critical gaps in prevention, investigation, and victim assistance