Alexandria, VA (March 27, 2023) —The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) and the University of Notre Dame announce a new certificate course, the Protecting Children Online Academy, to equip professionals in how to defend children against online child sexual exploitation (OCSE).
Online child sexual exploitation is a rapidly growing crisis impacting children in every corner of the globe.
In 2021 alone, there were more than 29.3 million reports of OCSE – representing as many as 85 million images, videos, and other files (source: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).
“Each one of these harms a child,“ says Bob Cunningham, CEO of ICMEC. “The problem will only grow as more users globally gain access to the internet through mobile phones, computers, and other devices. Professionals must be equipped with the specialized knowledge and tools to effectively prevent and respond to the rising tide of abuse facing children online.”
The Protecting Children Online Academy is a collaboration between Notre Dame’s Cybercrime Investigation, Research, and Education (CIRE) Initiative and ICMEC.
“The University of Notre Dame is committed to leveraging technology in the pursuit of truth,” says Mitch Kajzer, Managing Director of Notre Dame’s Cybercrime Investigation, Research, and Education (CIRE). “Important partnerships like this one enable us to develop new insights, procedures, and knowledge about cybercrimes against children, and educate and train the current and future generations of cyber investigative professionals.”
This 5-day in-person course brings together child protection experts from around the globe to educate interested participants on the worldwide phenomenon of online child sexual exploitation, the impact it has, how to approach and respond to it, and how you can play a role in defending children against this crime.
Sharing knowledge from global child protection experts including:
- Maya Alieh – Sergeant Detective, Montreal Police Department, Cyber Crimes Unit
- Michael Burnett – Attorney, Expert in the Valuation and Resolution of Sexual Misconduct Claims
- Caroline Humer – Global Child Protection Expert
- Mitch Kajzer – Associate Professor, University of Notre Dame CIRE. Executive Director, St. Joseph County Cyber Crimes Unit
- Lawrence McClain – Forensic Manager, Magnet Forensics and retired law enforcement
- Mick Moran – MSc FCCI University College Dublin
This course is open to any professional who wishes to acquire a better understanding of how they can protect children from harm online by fighting online child sexual exploitation, offering practical experience in law, policy, and practices to prevent and respond to online child sexual exploitation as well as effective business practices that you can carry throughout your career to defend children.
This course is currently open to the first 90 registrants. Find more information or register by visiting https://www.icmec.org/notredame/
About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC):
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is a non-governmental organization working to make the world a safer place for all children by defending against child sexual exploitation, abuse, and the risk of going missing. Headquartered in the United States, ICMEC coordinates with partners around the world to develop research, technologies, and educational resources to aid in the search and recovery of children who are missing, fight child sexual exploitation, and empower caring professionals, institutions, and communities to safeguard children from all forms of sexual abuse. For more information go to www.icmec.org.
About Cybercrime Investigation, Research, and Education (CIRE) initiative at the University of Notre Dame:
The mission of the Cybercrime Investigation, Research, and Education (CIRE) initiative is to provide digital forensic services, develop new insights, procedures, and knowledge about cybercrime and cybersecurity problems, and educate and train the current and future generations of cyber investigative professionals. https://cire.nd.edu/
Media contact: Members of the media with questions about ICMEC or our programs may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.703.837.6313.