KINGSTON, JAMAICA – The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), a nongovernmental organization which advocates, trains and collaborates on a global level to eradicate child abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, is partnering with the local advocacy organization for children, Hear The Children’s Cry (HTCC), to host the first specialized Regional Training Workshop on Missing Children. The training will take place in Kingston between May 16–18, 2016.
In November 2015, HTCC, the only Jamaican NGO dedicated to working directly on the problem of missing and abducted children, became the first Caribbean organization to join the Global Missing Children Network (GMCN). The GMCN, run by ICMEC, consists of 24 countries around the world working together to build a coordinated global response to the issue of missing children. HTCC and ICMEC are working together to expand the GMCN membership throughout the Caribbean.
The Training Workshop, funded by Facebook, is designed to provide specialized training targeted to law enforcement agencies as well as other key missing children stakeholder organizations and individuals. ICMEC, HTCC and Facebook personnel will lead and facilitate the two and a half day training workshop. The training will be geared toward strategies and solutions for the growing problem of missing and abducted children in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The Office of the Children’s Registry (OCR), with responsibility for the Ananda Alert, will be one of the main participants in the Workshop.
According to Ambassador Maura Harty, ret., President & CEO of ICMEC, “The training provides an extraordinary opportunity to support Jamaica’s response to missing children and to bring the Facebook AMBER Alert program to the country, which will strengthen the existing Ananda Alert in the hopes of locating missing children more quickly.”
“We are grateful to be a part of this important initiative”, explains Betty Ann Blaine, Founder of HTCC. “We are even more delighted that this type of activity will be taking place in Child Month when Jamaica pays particular attention to the issues and concerns facing our children. The problem of missing children is now at crisis proportions in our country, so that any help we can get to address the problem is now paramount.”