Press Release

ICMEC Gala Celebrates the Future of Child Protection

Peter Alexander hosts while Hill Harper and Margaret Hoelzer present awards to Amazon Web Services, FIA, and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children at the 5th Annual Gala for Child

NEW YORKMay 7, 2019  — The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children‘s Gala inspired partners and funders who share the collective purpose of eradicating child sexual abuse/exploitation and finding missing children. Peter Alexander, co-host of NBC’s Weekend TODAY, energized a crowd of 300+, who learned more about the technology enabled solutions leading to the most significant outcomes in child protection – to make sure no child stands alone.

Hill Harper, Actor and Activist starring in the #1 hit television drama The Good Doctor on ABC, presented the Global Impact for Child Protection Award to Amazon Web Services. Bringing the Amazon Rekognition API to the International Centre’s GMCNgine™, a platform tirelessly searching the clear and dark web for missing child case matches, has revolutionized the way we search for missing children around the world. Harper spoke about the importance of granting each child the same search effort no matter the resources of each country. “This tool makes us stronger and more capable to do what we need to do – find missing children,” said Harper.

Jason Bier, President of the Federation for Internet Alerts (FIA) accepted the Humanitarian Award for their contribution to the GMCNgine as well. FIA’s partnership allows the International Centre to bring internet alerting systems to 29 countries, creating the largest emergency alert system in the world.

Olympic Swimmer and Survivor, Margaret Hoelzer presented the final award to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. They selected the International Centre and Child Helpline International as grantee partners to develop and implement a model response system to help victims of online child sexual abuse and exploitation in five targeted countries. Margaret recalled that rescue is just the beginning of a long road to recovery. “This award is meaningful to me because my family and I were enveloped in care when we went to the police,” said Hoelzer. “Every child should have access to this kind of care.”

Perhaps the most impressive force leading the International Centre into the future is the new CEO, Paul Shapiro. He has dedicated his career to organizational transformation in the “for profit” sector and more than 15 years to building and improving non-profit organizations. Mr. Shapiro joins the International Centre to unite the world in the shared commitment to eradicate this epidemic facing our children. Dr. Franz Humer, Chairman of the Board, welcomed Shapiro and all of the guests noting, “Paul’s leadership and partnerships with giants in their respective fields is a critical endorsement of ICMEC’s ability to shape how the world views child safety and to deliver responsible, sophisticated solutions.”  Mr. Shapiro commented on the partners as the real hero’s when it comes to child protection around the globe, “If you want to go fast, you go alone but if you want to go far, you go together. The first 20 years have been successful because of our extraordinary partners and the next 20 will be no different.”

About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children: Partnering with every industry from Government and Technology to Sports and Entertainment through six dedicated programs to advance every country’s child protection capabilities. We promise to unite the world in the prevention, response, recovery, and healing of every missing, abused, and exploited child to make certain that no matter where they are or how they got there, no child stands alone.

Gala photos available at

Contact: Laura Jennings
Phone: 703.872.7467
Social: @ICMEC_Official