This presentation was given at the 2018 Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Global Summit hosted by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. (EndExploitationSummit.com)
Former President and CEO, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children
In a 2013 speech then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I want to talk about the internet, the impact it is having on the innocence of our children, how online pornography is corroding childhood.” He was right. More and younger children are accessing internet pornography. They are accessing it via mobile devices. It is damaging their developing brains. Soft porn has disappeared, replaced by more extreme content. The business model of the porn industry has changed resulting in free sites. And the use of filters by parents has failed. One researcher called it, “the single largest unregulated social experiment in history.” However, there are solutions. It is time for Congress to act.
Ernie Allen is a global expert on the digital economy; the dark side of the internet; public-private partnerships and child protection including the issues of child abduction, sexual exploitation, sexual violence and human trafficking. He frequently speaks to global audiences on these issues and serves as an advisor to governments, law enforcement, technology companies, nonprofit organizations and others.
In 2015 he was appointed by then-UK Prime Minister David Cameron to chair a global effort for the British government to combat online child abuse. He continues to serve as chair of an expanded WePROTECT Global Alliance under Prime Minister Theresa May following the merger with the EU/US Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online.
Previously he was Founding Chairman of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and served as President and CEO for more than 28 years. He created the national missing children hotline; the CyberTipline to report sexual exploitation and brought forensic resources and training to law enforcement. During his tenure over 180,000 missing children were recovered, the recovery rate increased from 62% to 97%, and thousands of victims of child sexual exploitation were rescued.
To extend the effort globally he founded the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and served simultaneously as its President and CEO. He built a global network of 23 nations and worked with parliaments to enact laws in 100 countries. He led efforts to implement new global policies on virtual currencies and the anonymous “Dark Web”, created new technologies to address child victimization, and helped reduce a $30 billion commercial child pornography industry to virtually zero.
Mr. Allen’s work has been widely recognized and he is the author of numerous articles and book chapters.