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NCMEC’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC)

·       Overview

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) furthers NCMEC’s mission to help find missing children, reduce sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization by providing legal, legislative, policy, and advocacy resources and assistance on issues related to NCMEC’s mission to legislators, attorneys, families, law enforcement, partner nonprofit organizations, and electronic service providers.

For questions, please contact us at The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 333 John Carlyle St, Suite 125, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; telephone number 800-843-5678; Legal@ncmec.org.

·       Services Provided

o   Technical Assistance

OLC provides technical assistance to private lawyers, prosecutors, defense counsel, legislators, lobbyists, electronic      service providers, law enforcement, families, survivors, victim advocates, and partner nonprofit organizations on a        range of legal, policy, legislative, and practical issues relating to missing and exploited children.

o   Legislative Affairs

OLC provides technical assistance and policy recommendations to members of Congress, state legislators, legislative staff, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations about issues related to missing and exploited children, including child sex trafficking and survivor services. Our work ranges from providing testimony, data-based analyses of issues relating to missing and exploited children, and legislative technical assistance to Congress and state legislators on child protection issues  to raising awareness and providing advocacy to proposed laws regarding child protection. issues.

§  Federal Legislative Initiatives

·       Issues

1.     Disrupting the Online Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM)

2.     Strengthening the Reporting of Missing Children to NCMEC

3.     Enhancing Survivor Services and Legal Remedies Available to Children Victimized Through Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking

4.     Ensuring Solutions to Safeguard Children are Instituted in End-to-End Encrypted Environments Online (https://www.missingkids.org/theissues/end-to-end-encryption)

·       Bills NCMEC Supports 

1.     EARN IT Act (Link)

2.     Eliminating Limits to Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims Act of 2021 ( https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/s3103/BILLS-117s3103is.pdf)

3.     Project Safe Childhood Modernization Act (Link)

4.     Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) (Link)

 

§  State Legislative Initiatives

1.     Provide address confidentiality to survivors of CSAM, sex trafficking, and family abduction under state “Safe at Home” programs

2.     Include child sex trafficking in the definition of child abuse under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)

3.     Enact the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act (UCAPA) to provide family courts with guidance to assess child abduction risk and take preventative actions

4.     Establish a state system to notify CSAM victims if their imagery is involved in a state prosecution

5.     Facilitate submission of seized CSAM by state/local law enforcement to NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program (CVIP)

6.     Facilitate the provision of feedback by state/local law enforcement relating to CyberTipline reports

7.     Ensure that states do not adopt the American Law Institute’s revisions to the Model Penal Code- relating to sex trafficking and (Losing Ground in Child Protection https://www.missingkids.org/blog/2021/losing-ground)

8.      

 

§  Testimony and Written Statements

·       One Page Support for EARN IT Act (2020)

·       “The EARN IT Act: Holding the Tech Industry Accountable in the Fight Against Online Child Sexual Exploitation” (March 11, 2020) https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Shehan%20Testimony.pdf

·       Briefing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Before the House Committee on Education and Labor (May 7, 2021)

·       Written Statement of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing on “Kids Online During COVID: Child Safety in an Increasingly Digital Age.”

·       Written Submission of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for the “European Parliament Information Exchange Relating to Proposed Cooperation Between Europol and Private Parties”

o   Relevant Laws

·       Federal Law on Child Pornography

·       Federal Law on Child Sex Trafficking

·       Federal Law on Child Sexual Abuse

·       Federal Law on Sex Offender Registration

 

o   Litigation Support

Upon request from international, federal and state prosecutors, defense counsel and law enforcement officers, we provide business record declarations for NCMEC’s CyberTipline reports and CVIP reports. For attorneys representing identified CSAM victims, we can provide technical assistance and standardized documents to support the legal process of seeking restitution for victims of this type. For legal proceedings related to missing children, including family abductions, we can provide declarations describing NCMEC’s role and missing child reports. Email at legal@ncmec.org

 

o   Legal Training

We offer legal trainings relating to NCMEC’s mission, including an overview of NCMEC resources, unique legal challenges related to child sexual exploitation cases, preventing and responding to family abductions, and international missing child cases arising under treaties such as The Hague Child Abduction Convention. Email at legal@ncmec.org

 

o   Pro Bono Attorney Placements

Please email familysupport@ncmec.org for information about attorney referrals (including pro bono or reduced-fee referrals) for families and survivors impacted by a missing child or dealing with child sexual exploitation. 

 

o   Reprint Requests

Requests for permission to use or reproduce any NCMEC materials or publications are reviewed by OLC and approved on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please visit: https://www.missingkids.org/footer/legalinformation/reprint#:~:text=For%20further%20information%20about%20Reprint,%3B%20legal%40ncmec.org.

 

 

 

·       Resources

§  The Attorney Manual: Guide to Representation of Children Victimized by the Online Distribution of Child Sexual Abuse Material (2021)   

This manual was created as a joint project between NCMEC and the generous pro bono support of Jones Day as a comprehensive resource guide for legal professionals assisting victims of child sexual abuse imagery.

 

§  Litigating International Child Abduction Cases Under the Hague Convention

This manual was developed as a joint project between NCMEC and the generous pro bono support of Kilpatrick Townsend to provide attorneys a comprehensive roadmap for litigating international child abduction cases.

 

§  Family Abduction: Prevention & Response (Spanish version also available)

Many child abductions in the U.S. are committed by a parent or other family member. This manual was designed to help parents and attorneys navigate through the criminal- and civil-justice systems’ responses to parental kidnapping and addresses how to prevent abductions.

 

§  Missing Children, State Care, and Child Sex Trafficking: Engaging the Judiciary in Building a Collaborative Response

This manual was jointly created by NCMEC and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.