LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) launched a new public service announcement Monday as part of the ongoing Project iGuardian campaign.
The campaign is designed to increase awareness in combating online child sexual exploitation and instruct parents and educators on how to safeguard youth from predatory situations during the COVID-19 pandemic and as summer break approaches.
“HSI’s Child Exploitation Investigations Unit (CEIU) has taken a proactive approach to public education and awareness by implementing an outreach program that offers virtual presentations for schools and youth organizations using the Project iGuardian educational tool,” said Erin Burke, Section Chief for HSI Cyber Crimes Center’s CEIU and Victim Identification Program. “We believe that steadfast and continued distribution of accurate and focused information will better prepare our communities to prevent instances of child exploitation.”
Project iGuardian shares information that can help keep children and teens protected from predators and settings online where they could be exploited sexually. The program is tailored to youth of all ages – from young children to teens – as well as parents and educators. It’s designed to encourage smart online practices and provide safety tips, a number to call to report suspicious activity, and a website with links to more information and resources.
CEIU will host a universal virtual seminar for parents and educators on June 17 from 5:30-6:30 pm (EDT). Those who have already submitted iGuardian presentation requests will receive an email invitation. You can also register for the event, HERE.
Through the web seminars — parents, teachers, and students will have the opportunity to learn more about the dangers of web-based environments, how to stay safe online, and how to report abuse and suspicious activity – particularly while kids are spending more time indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic and summer break.
Parents, educators, or organizations interested in scheduling an individual event, can submit requests to iGuardian@ice.dhs.gov, including the following information:
- Contact information including organization, name, phone number, location, and email
- Type of audience:
- Parent, guardian or educator
- Children (Kindergarten – 5th grade)
- Youth (6th-8th grade)
- Youth (9th-12th grade)
Reporting suspected sexual exploitation can help minimize or stop further victimization, as well as lead to the identification and rescue of other possible victims. To report suspicious activity or instances of child sexual exploitation, contact HSI or your local police department.
Tips can be submitted to HSI online at https://www.ice.gov/tipline, by phone at 866-DHS-2-ICE or by contacting your local HSI office. Reports can also be filed with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST or online.