As the nation's resource center for child protection, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) spearheads national efforts to locate and recover missing children and raises public awareness about ways to prevent child abduction, molestation, and sexual exploitation. A private, nonprofit organization established in 1984, NCMEC operates under a Congressional mandate and works in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (https://www.ojjdp.gov/).*
*Original URL dating to time of initial development and first publication (1999, 2000):
http:// ojjdp (dot) ncjrs (dot) org (modified 2018FEB23)
NBC Nightly News referred to NCMEC as a "high-tech search network." NCMEC is a vital resource for families and America's 17,000 law enforcement agencies in the search for missing children and the quest for child protection.
Since 1984, NCMEC has handled more than 1 million calls through its national hotline 1-800-THE LOST; trained 138,000 police and other professionals; and disseminated more than 12 million free publications. NCMEC has worked with law enforcement on more than 50,000 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of 32,000 children.
NCMEC has disseminated millions of missing children's photographs, with one in seven of the children recovered as a direct result. NCMEC believes that "somebody knows," and seeks to reach every home in America.
NCMEC receives thousands of leads on missing children that are forwarded to police investigators. NCMEC also operates the national child pornography tipline in conjunction with the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that has produced leads resulting in many successful investigations.
Whether a police officer needs case assistance, desperate parents are seeking help to find their child, or an average citizen is asking for information on child safety, all it takes is one call, 1-800-THE LOST, to the High-Tech Search Network of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.