Belgian Prime Minster Dehaene turned to the U.S. National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
(NCMEC) for help.
In the late 1990s, NCMEC had found itself responding to numerous requests for assistance from individuals and organizations around the world. The “Dutroux Affair” was the latest. So when Prime Minister Dehaene asked NCMEC to help establish a center in Brussels, NCMEC’s President replied, “You do not need an American solution to this problem — you need a Belgian solution.”
With the volume of requests for assistance from abroad exceeding NCMEC’s capacity to respond, the Board of Directors authorized the creation of a new organization that would devote itself to doing globally what NCMEC was committed to doing in the United States.
A year later, members of the Board of Directors for the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) held their first meeting in 1998, and ICMEC was launched in April 1999.
The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
was born out of tragedy, created as a reaction to heinous crimes committed against children. Since the inception, ICMEC have worked to safeguard children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, partnering with governments, academia, law enforcement, and the NGO community, to offer a range of practical measures that protect children.
Since ICMEC opened it's doors to the world the organization have trained
over 10,500 law enforcement officers. ICMEC have contributed substantially to both new and refined laws against child pornography
in 127 countries. The organization have expanded the Global Missing Children’s Network
; 25 countries are now members. ICMEC have advocated for the commemoration of International Missing Children’s Day
, which is presently recognized on May 25th in 17 countries across four continents. And the organization have expanded the global partnerships.
With each new partnership, each new initiative, ICMEC take another step toward the goal of making the world safer for children.