Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and bipartisan Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 2018. The bill would reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and continue the fight against child abduction and exploitation.
“For more than 30 years, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has played a critical role in the fight to protect our children,” said Hatch. “Over those years, NCMEC has kept pace with evolving threats ranging from online enticement of children to child pornography and sex tourism. I am proud to support this legislation to modernize NCMEC’s authorities and ensure that the organization has the resources it needs to continue this important work.”
The legislation updates terms that are used in the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to reflect the latest research and trends. It extends funding for five more years, at the current level of $40 million, for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other organizations that help prevent and respond to offenses committed against vulnerable children. It also ensures continued federal support of efforts by state and local entities to recover missing and exploited children—including children who are the victim of kidnapping and child pornography crimes. And the bill includes measures to ensure that school personnel, law enforcement, individuals and other non-governmental organizations can receive technical assistance and training on how to prevent, recover, and help missing, abducted, or exploited children.
The legislation will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside related measures in the coming weeks.
In a letter to the bill sponsors, the current president and CEO of NCMEC offered his strong support for the bipartisan legislation and thanked the senators for their continued work fighting child exploitation and their efforts to modernize the law to combat new and emerging issues like sextortion.