ASUNCION, Paraguay – A new international agreement was signed Wednesday by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Paraguayan Attorney General’s Office to streamline information sharing regarding suspected child pornography.
The agreement was facilitated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under a joint NCMEC-ICE initiative called Operation Guardian Knight. NCMEC has similar agreements in place with eight other national police forces in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Additionally, through ICE Homeland Security Investigations’ (HSI) Office of International Affairs, 58 countries in total now have the access to NCMEC information.
"Child sexual exploitation is a global issue that requires a global response," said John Ryan, NCMEC president and CEO. "We are grateful to the Paraguayan Attorney General’s Office for their commitment to protecting children in their country and look forward to working more closely with them."
"This international agreement was made possible by the close working relationship developed by HSI and the Paraguayan Attorney General’s Office," said ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Regional Attaché Raul O. Aguilar. "HSI will continue to work tirelessly with our international law enforcement partners across jurisdictions and national boundaries to protect children anywhere in the world and bring criminals to justice regardless of where they live."
The agreement enables time-sensitive information to be exchanged more quickly between NCMEC and the Attorney General’s offices of the Delitos Informáticos in Asuncion, which is tasked with combating child pornography and child exploitation cases. Investigative efforts are supported by HSI Buenos Aires.
NCMEC, based in the United States, is a non-governmental organization that serves as the national resource center and clearinghouse on missing and sexually exploited children.
Through ICE’s Office of International Affairs and the State Department, HSI has 67 attaché offices in 48 countries around the world. This presence includes an on-the-ground relationship-building effort of HSI special agents working closely with foreign law enforcement agencies, and through a robust network of specialized vetted units known as Transnational Criminal Investigative Units. Additionally, HSI brings personnel from host countries to the United States to train at the Department of Homeland Security Federal Law Enforcement Training Center at Glynco, Ga.