IMPROVING SUPPORT FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN ACT OF 2017
Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act. This bill will strengthen recovery and prevention efforts of missing and exploited children by renewing and updating support for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, or NCMEC.
The terror experienced by parents of a missing child is unfathomable. Both the child and the parents experience pain, trauma, fear, and uncertainty. This is why affected families need the full support of law enforcement, schools, businesses, and other entities that may be able to assist in locating and recovering missing or exploited children.
In 2013, Congress reauthorized the Missing Children's Assistance Act and updated the role of NCMEC. The organization was required, at that time, to coordinate with the Interagency Council on Homelessness in order to address the high number of sex trafficking victims who were homeless youth.
Now, in 2017, Congress is including several additional improvements. As this bill heads to the Senate, I will work with my colleagues in both Chambers to improve the reporting of characteristics of children trafficked as it relates to the Office of Juvenile Justice's triennial incidence of missing children study.
Mr. Speaker, despite the best efforts of NCMEC, more than 10,000 children go missing each year, and scores of children are forced into sexual exploitation and trafficking. I am hopeful that the enactment of these initiatives will assist in the efforts to end exploitation and trafficking. I am also hopeful that Congress will empower the work of NCMEC by appropriate funding in fiscal year 2018 and above.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the bill.