On July 15, the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education held a hearing, “Protecting America’s Youth: An Update from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children” (NCMEC).
“Our experience with child sex trafficking cases shows this is a complex issue not susceptible to a single solution,” said John D. Ryan, president and chief executive officer, NCMEC. Mr. Ryan continued, “The scope of the problem is difficult to accurately quantify due to the reluctance of victims to self-report and other challenges faced by law enforcement in measuring the incidence of this crime. Based on the case data NCMEC receives in our clearinghouse role, we know that approximately 81 percent of missing child reports to NCMEC involve endangered runaways; one out of seven endangered runaways reported to NCMEC in 2013 were likely sex trafficking victims; and 67 percent of these children were in state care when they ran.”
Mr. Ryan added, “Because of the unique vulnerabilities of runaways and children missing from state care, NCMEC created our Child Sex Trafficking Team to provide dedicated and comprehensive analytical services to law enforcement on cases of missing children who may be linked to sex trafficking. One recent initiative is the creation of an introductory training program titled Child Sex Trafficking: Awareness and Response directed to law enforcement, child welfare agencies, and other service providers. As an illustration of NCMEC’s public-private partnership, this course was developed with federal funds and the first in-person deployment of the training in California was underwritten by a private donor.”