The bipartisan legislation, introduced with Senators Grassley, Feinstein, Hatch, and Portman, would reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced the bipartisan Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 2018 to prevent child abduction and return missing children to their families. The bill would reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), extend funding to NCMEC and similar organizations, and update the terms that are used in the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to reflect the latest research and trends. The bill also includes measures to ensure that school personnel, law enforcement, and other non-governmental organizations can receive technical assistance and training on how to prevent, recover, and help missing, abducted, or exploited children.

“As a former prosecutor, I know how important it is to protect children from kidnapping, exploitation, and abuse,” Klobuchar said. “This bipartisan bill will ensure that the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has the resources and support necessary to track down missing children and prevent future abductions.”

In a letter to the bill sponsors, the current president and CEO of NCMEC offered his strong support for the bipartisan legislation and thanked the senators for their continued work fighting child exploitation and their efforts to modernize the law to combat new and emerging issues like sextortion.

In her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has worked to protect children from abuse and ensure that victims receive justice. Last year, Klobuchar’s bipartisan PROTECT Our Children Act was signed into law. The legislation reauthorizes the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces, representing 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies that combat child exploitation across the country. In 2016, Klobuchar’s bipartisan Recovering Missing Children Act was signed into law to help recover missing and exploited children.

Klobuchar is also a national leader in the fight to combat human trafficking. In 2015, Klobuchar’s Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act was signed into law. The legislation increased the resources and tools available for combating human trafficking in the United States, and established the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Earlier this year, Klobuchar and Senator John Thune’s (R-SD) bipartisan Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act was signed into law. The legislation designates a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation and increases outreach and education efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to help prevent human trafficking. Last year, the Abolish Human Trafficking Act Klobuchar introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act she and Cornyn introduced with Grassley and Feinstein both passed the Senate.