The Internet has revolutionized the way we live, work and play. Yet, there is a dark side. Child pornography and child exploitation have exploded. Human trafficking has moved from the streets to the Internet. A new anonymous “Deep Web” has emerged, utilized by traffickers, pedophiles and others. And the developing brains of children are being bombarded with extreme pornography. Unless we better protect our children, we will see future generations of damaged adults and great societal harm.
International Expert in Child Protection, Public Private Partnerships and the Dark Side of the Internet
Ernie Allen is a global expert on the issues of child abduction, sexual exploitation, sexual violence, human trafficking, public-private partnerships and the digital economy. He currently serves on several corporate boards and is an advisor to governments, law enforcement, technology companies, international and American nonprofit organizations. Earlier this year he was appointed by the British government as Chairman of the International Advisory Board for UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s global initiative to combat online child abuse and exploitation. He frequently speaks to global audiences on these issues and is in demand as a motivational speaker.
Mr. Allen was founder, first Chairman and then President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children where he established the national CyberTipline for reporting sexual exploitation and helped the U.S. Marshals track down 100,000 fugitive sex offenders. He created the national Missing Children’s hotline; brought age progression and forensic services to law enforcement and provided training for more than 300,000 police officers. During his tenure more than 180,000 missing children were recovered and the recovery rate of missing children increased from 62% to 97%.
To extend the effort to protect children globally, he founded the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and served simultaneously as its President and CEO. He built a global missing children’s network that included 23 nations, trained law enforcement in 121 countries, worked with parliaments to enact new laws on child pornography in 100 countries. He brought global attention to the risks of unregulated virtual currencies and the anonymous “Deep Web” and led efforts to implement new policies worldwide.
He also created coalitions and led efforts to work with the world’s leading financial institutions to reduce commercial child pornography from a $30 billion industry to virtually zero; to work with leading technology companies to address child victimization; and to work with major pharmaceutical companies to address child sexual exploitation as a public health crisis.
Mr. Allen’s work has been widely recognized and he is the author of numerous articles and book chapters.