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Guatemala City, Guatemala, June 29, 2021 – The Vice Presidents of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras will gather on Thursday, July 1, 2021, at the National Palace of Culture in Guatemala City to witness the signing of a groundbreaking, tri-national agreement to protect children from online child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA).
The cooperation agreement, formalized by each country’s central authority against human trafficking and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), will strengthen the countries’ capacity to prevent, investigate, and respond to online CSEA.
Under the agreement, ICMEC will support each country by:
- leading trainings and workshops for police, prosecutors, and the judiciary;
- providing assistance, both in the creation and implementation of procedures and in the adoption of the latest technology; and
- supporting the development of Specialized Online Child Sexual Exploitation Units using ICMEC’s Model Framework.
“With this agreement, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras take a significant step forward together in the fight to protect children from online sexual exploitation and abuse,” says Robert Cunningham, CEO and President of ICMEC. “We applaud their continuing commitment to establish and strengthen standards for prevention, investigation, and victim assistance. By working hand-in-hand with national leaders, criminal justice professionals, and industry, we can improve the safety and health of children in each country and throughout the entire region.”
High rates of cross-border migration, as well as economic and political factors, make children more vulnerable to online CSEA in these three countries. According to the United States’ National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, a frequent collaborator with ICMEC, from 2019 to 2020, reports from technology and internet service providers of suspected cases of online CSEA rose more than 140% across El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
The agreement will be signed by the following representatives:
- Guatemala, Sandy Guadalupe Recinos Acevedo de Cabrera, Executive Secretary of the Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Human Trafficking
- El Salvador, José Daniel Martínez Peña, Executive Secretary of the National Council against Human Trafficking
- Honduras, Rosa Corea, Executive Secretary of the Interinstitutional Commission against Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking of Honduras
- Robert Cunningham, President and Chief Executive Officer of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) is a non-governmental, non-profit 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 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 online exploitation online, and empower caring professionals, institutions, and communities to safeguard children from all forms of sexual abuse. For more information go to www.icmec.org.
For more information, contact:
Jeff Swingle, Senior Vice President of Strategic Advancement