Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.A, July 29, 2021 — The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) announced this week the opening of a national office in Sydney, Australia. Headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, with regional offices in Singapore and Brazil and operations across six continents, ICMEC is devoted to fighting child sexual exploitation and abuse and recovering missing children worldwide.
ICMEC builds on a strong record of programs in Australia, where the organization works with law enforcement, regulators, financial institutions, NGOs, and digital technology providers to raise critical awareness and collective response to the scourge of online child sexual exploitation.
ICMEC CEO Bob Cunningham said this is an important step in defending children. “With an office in Sydney, ICMEC will be positioned to develop practical, local solutions to strengthen national strategies to prevent, investigate, and prosecute sexual offenses against children in Australia and across the region.”
In 2020, the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation’s (ACCCE) Child Protection Triage Unit received more than 21,000 reports of online child sexual exploitation. In the past year alone, the ACCCE has intercepted and examined more than 250,000 child abuse material files. The Australian Federal Police charged a total of 191 people with 1847 alleged child abuse-related offences in 2020.
ICMEC’s Regional Representative and Managing Director of Australia Operations, Bindu Sharma, noted, “Our experience globally has shown that close collaboration and collective action can make real progress in defending children. We have spent many years building partnerships across sectors and now is the time to affirm these partnerships and step up the fight in Australia.”
The Executive Chairman of ICMEC Australia will be Australian technology entrepreneur and investor Paul McCarney. “Paul’s knowledge of technology and Australian regulation will be invaluable as we develop solutions to keep children safe from predators online and beyond,” said Ms. Sharma.
About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is a non-governmental organization working to make the world a safer place for children by defending against child sexual exploitation, abuse, and the risk of going missing. Headquartered in the United States, ICMEC works 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, contact:
ICMEC Senior Vice President of Strategic Advancement