DHS: April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 2020 has been proclaimed by the President as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The proclamation calls upon individuals to be aware of children’s safety and well-being, and to support efforts that promote their psychological, physical, and emotional development. April is also a time to highlight the importance of working together to prevent the abuse and neglect of children.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is committed to protecting children from abuse and educating them about how to protect themselves. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) created the Angel Watch Center in 2016 to expand its work with foreign law enforcement partners, alerting them about the intended travel by convicted registered child sex offenders from the United States to their countries. The Center ultimately aims to stop the spread of transnational child sexual abuse.
Additionally, ICE Homeland Security Investigatons (HSI)’s Project iGuardian program provides children, teens, parents, and teachers with information regarding the potential dangers of online environments and how to stay safe online. The iGuardian program team is committed to providing safety tips, a number to call, and resources to the public to avoid falling victim to online sexual predators.
As part of HSI’s Operation Predator, which was first launched in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 31,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for the purpose of sexually abusing minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,900 child predators were arrested by HSI Special Agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims were identified or rescued.
To report a crime, you can utilize the HSI online tip form. Report suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children via its toll-free 24-hour hotline at 1-800-843-5678.