FBI's Innocence Lost Initiative Marks its 5th Anniversary
In June 2003, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with the National Center for Missing
& Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section launched the Innocence Lost National Initiative (ILNI). Their combined efforts were aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic child sex slavery in
the form of child prostitution in the United States.
In the five years since its inception, the Initiative has resulted in the development of 24
dedicated task forces and working groups throughout the US involving federal, state, and local law-enforcement agencies
working in tandem with U.S. Attorney's Offices. To date, these groups have worked successfully to rescue over
NCMEC acts as a clearinghouse for intelligence obtained from the public about children being exploited
through prostitution. Since the inception of the Innocence Lost Initiative in June 2003, the CyberTipline has received 5,127
tips of child exploitation through prostitution. The number of CyberTipline reports of known missing children involved in
prostitution is 944. During that same time period, NCMEC has intaked 41,978 endangered runaway cases. Case data shows that
many of these children can be at great risk of being lured or forced into child prostitution.
NCMEC has trained over 950 law enforcement members on child victims of prostitution
through specialized training courses, developed and conducted in partnership with the FBI. The program has trained multi-disciplinary
teams, with membership drawn from state, local, and federal law-enforcement agencies and local social-service providers from
cities all over the country. These teams have been trained in a multi-disciplinary approach to address the problem of child
prostitution, of which prosecution and victim assistance share equal parts.