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Update March 1999 - Missing

Missing and Exploited Children's Program

The Missing and Exploited Children's Program (MECP) conducts research, demonstration, and service programs; provides training and technical assistance; and coordinates various activities relating to missing and exploited children. In addition, it supports the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), which is the national resource center and clearinghouse dedicated to missing and exploited children issues. One of the Coordinating Council's statutory responsibilities is to coordinate programs relating to these issues.


The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDP) Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-415), as amended by the Missing Children's Assistance Act of 1984 (Title IV), established the Missing and Exploited Children's Program in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). The purpose of the Missing Children's Assistance Act is to develop leadership and provide funding support to address the needs of the Nation's missing and exploited children and their families and to foster coordination of programs and services for this population.

Recent and Planned Activities

International Parental Abduction. The Subcommittee on International Abductions of the Federal Agency Task Force on Missing and Exploited Children has been meeting for more than a year to discuss issues, practices, and concerns relating to Federal agency roles, responsibilities, and jurisdictions in international abduction cases. A report detailing the findings and conclusions of this Subcommittee and the recommendations of the Attorney General's Policy Group on International Abductions is being prepared and is scheduled to be submitted to the Attorney General late this month.

Internet Crimes Against Children. In 1998, the Missing and Exploited Children's Program awarded $2.4 million to 10 State and local law enforcement agencies to develop and implement regional, multijurisdictional, and multiagency task forces to prevent and combat Internet crimes against children (ICAC). MECP plans to award an additional eight to ten task forces in FY 1999.

MECP, in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Fox Valley Technical College, conducts two law enforcement training programs relating to Internet crimes against children. Protecting Children Online is designed to improve investigative skills and capabilities by focusing on such issues as computer technology, crime investigation, legal issues, case preparation, resources, and prevention. Protecting Children Online Unit Commander focuses on practical investigative, legal, and policy-related issues.

Publications. MECP publications currently under development include:


  • Issues in Resolving Cases of International Abduction (Publication and Research Summary)
  • Cultural Competence and Child Abuse Investigations (Portable Guide)
  • Risk Profiles for Abduction and Appropriate Interventions (Portable Guide)
  • Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA): Implications for District Attorneys and Investigators (Portable Guide)
  • Use of Computers and the Sexual Exploitation of Children (Portable Guide)
  • Internet Crimes Against Children (Fact Sheet)
  • When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide - Spanish translation (Report)

Ongoing MECP Activities. In 1995, MECP funded the second national incidence study of missing and exploited children, which is building upon the information gleaned from the initial NISMART study. Researchers are examining eight distinct categories of missing children. Results of this study will help policymakers and practitioners make more informed decisions about safeguarding and protecting the Nation's children. Preliminary results are expected late this year.

The Jimmy Ryce Law Enforcement Training Center, a cooperative venture between OJJDP, NCMEC, and two FBI entities (CASKU and the Criminal Justice Information Services Division), offers training to law enforcement chief executive officers, senior managers, and line officers to increase their awareness of and response to missing and exploited children cases.

MECP offers monthly training programs to missing and exploited children practitioners and professionals through a series of courses that are designed to increase skills and abilities, enhance service coordination and delivery, and improve the investigation and handling of missing and exploited children cases. These courses include Responding to Missing and Abducted Children, Child Sexual Exploitations, Child Abuse and Exploitation Investigative Techniques, Missing and Exploited Children, and Child Abuse and Exploitation Team Investigation Process.

To Be Discussed at the Meeting

Council members will be updated on current and upcoming activities.


Ron Laney
Missing and Exploited Children's Program
202-616-3637 - phone
202-353-9093 - fax
[email protected] - e-mail

Date Created: July 8, 2020