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Texas and Louisiana’s First Spouses’ Global Human Trafficking Summit – 10.14.21

First Lady of Texas Cecilia Abbott and First Lady of Louisiana Donna Edwards have partnered in the past year to educate other first spouses along with key stakeholders across the country on anti-human trafficking efforts and resources they can bring back to their own states. The latest educational summit in October 2021 was hosted by the Texas Governor's Team and focused on the growing crime of exploitation of children and solutions to prevent it. Featured in this recording of the summit are:

  • First Lady Donna Edwards of Louisiana
  • Andrea Galliano Sparks, Director, Governor Abbott's Child Sex Trafficking Team
  • Special Agent Jack Station, Homeland Security Investigations
  • Belinda Swan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
  • Kristen Abrams, McCain Institute – REAL Friends Don't
  • Sonya Ryan, Carly Ryan Foundation – Not on Our Watch, Texas
  • And a special message from First Lady Abbott

Unedited YouTube Transcript

for those of you saying that you can't hear anything we haven't started yet we'll start exactly at 2 30 to give
everybody time to sign on
good afternoon everybody can everybody hear me
so welcome to our fourth global human trafficking summit we thank you for
joining us i'm delary rice the senior director of special projects in first lady donna
edwards office i have put my contact information in the chat box as well as kayla mccullum who
is first lady donna edwards office manager and then
dana hunter and andrea sparks also have their contact information in
the chat box if you'd like to retrieve it um and keep it for later so we have over 600 people who are
registered for this and see people are slowly logging on we've got about 250 on
right now and so um i think people will be logging in as we
go while we're waiting for everybody to get logged in i'd like to go over a few
points for housekeeping although many of us are probably zoom experts at this point
so first of all please make sure you're muted when you're not speaking only the panelists will show on the
viewing screen and the participants are not visible and cannot speak but can use the chat box
so the chat box is located at the bottom of your zoom screen you can chat with an individual just the panelists or
everyone just use the drop down box to choose who
and then um we also have added a pdf of the agenda into the chat box that you
can download and it has the times that everyone will be speaking
we are also going to run a slideshow in conjunction with the program if you want to view the screens in equal
proportion you can put your cursor between both of the pictures on the screen and
hover over those two lines and slide it back and forth accordingly we ask that you please add any questions
you may have into the chat box and we will answer them at the end if possible we usually don't have time
left and if we run out of time we will make sure someone emails you with the answer
a reminder to our panelists to try to stick to your time so we can get everybody off the zoom by 4 pm
and at this time i would like to introduce to you first lady donna edwards and she
will start our summit good afternoon everyone and welcome to
our fourth virtual human trafficking prevention and awareness summit my name is donna edwards i'm the wife of
governor john bel edwards and first lady of the state of louisiana and i'm so honored and proud to be with you all
this afternoon and want to welcome any of our new participants and thank our repeat attendees i'm so very grateful
for your commitment to be here and for the work that you all do to fight human sex trafficking
so there are over um 600 participants online from 30 different states the
territory of guam and australia online with us today now we're steadily people
are coming in and we just we're thankful we're um but just know that this will also be able to be viewed later on
um i'd also like to thank the first lady of texas cecilia abbott for continuing to
engage in this endeavor and andrea sparks the director of the governor abbott sex trafficking team we're so
honored to have formed such a great and strong partnership to address human sex trafficking between our states
and before i begin i want to announce another initiative that developed from these summits and i'm so excited to
announce the formation of the national coalition of human sex trafficking it's an initiative supported by first spouses
in the u.s first lady abbott of texas first lady ellie reeves of mississippi
have joined our advisory board and we have some pending invitations to other first spouses and hope to have many more
join us this group was formed to raise awareness and support prevention efforts for human
sex trafficking so we're going to host the first event on april the 3rd during the ncaa final four held in new orleans
on sunday april 3rd 22. there would be a press conference and an event that day
so we welcome all of you to attend and we'll send out some information about the event and details after this summit
you can also contact delary rice or kayla mccullum and we'll have information on our website which should
be posted in the chat so the focus of today's summit is to continue to unite us all in a national
and global effort to end human sex trafficking this morning this afternoon you will
hear these from experts that work tirelessly in this field to combat this issue
hopefully we can connect and form a coalition across the nation that will strengthen our commitments and offer an
opportunity to collaborate about best practices you know i'm a big believer in the saying don't reinvent the will so
let's share with each other our best practices in our community states and countries to eradicate human sex
trafficking before we get started i want to acknowledge and thank all of the first spouses who are attendees this afternoon
i know that each of you have busy schedules and i'm grateful for you've taken time to join us um and hearing
more about human sex trafficking and learning even more um this summit gives us this opportunity as for spouses along
with other leaders in the field to leverage our roles as leaders to make a difference
additionally i'd like to acknowledge that every international national state and local leader present with us today
as well as all other summit participants thanks to all of you for your leadership and the role that you all play in
addressing and preventing human sex trafficking each speaker will only be able to share
just a limited amount of information with you due to time constraints but please look for additional resources and
a recording of this event which will be sent to you by email in a week or so we also post the recordings and reese's
resources on our website louisianafirstfoundation.com also since our last summit i am proud to
announce that my husband signed into law this year a bill that created the governor's office of human sex
trafficking prevention this new office is louisiana's first government entity that is solely dedicated to addressing
human sex trafficking dr dana hunter was appointed as the director of this newly
formed department and you'll hear from dr hunter soon now i'm going to hand over today's
summit to our director deleri rice and i just want to thank delary for bringing everything together today along uh with
all the behind the scenes work that you do along with our team um our little team of and i just want to thank
everybody who made today um come to be thank you so much valerie
thank you and i am here to introduce um andrea sparks who will start our summit she is
the moderator and will be addressing the summit will mostly address online exploitation
andrea is the director of the governor abbott's child sex trafficking team the team leads collaborative efforts to
build sustainable capacity enhance expertise and promote policies to prevent child sexual exploitation to
help survivors heal and thrive and to bring exploiters to justice since andrea's appointment by the
governor four years ago texas has become a national leader in developing trauma-informed coordinated care and
services for child and young adult victims in addition to building a continuum of survivor care in texas andrea leads the
team's efforts to prevent exploitation and to support the criminal justice system in holding exploiters accountable
after graduating from the university of texas school of law and serving as a staff attorney at the texas supreme
court andrea represented children and families in child protection cases she then served as the director of
public affairs for texas casa and executive director of the national center for missing and exploited
children's texas regional office we are so happy we have partnered with andrea
and texas and i will hand it over to her now great
can y'all hear me my zoom is going like this unfortunately
but before before i get started i really want to turn it over to
my good friend uh rabbi neal blumoth who um is not only a rabbi here in austin and a
distinguished jazz musician but also a member of the governor's response
against child exploitation here in texas and a fellow tulaneian with me
we graduated together at tulane so he's got texas louisiana roots and i thought he'd be appropriate
to give us a blessing thanks andrea i appreciate that and good
afternoon everyone and let us pray source of all life
we are in gratitude for the miracle of gathering across time and space for this important moment of discernment
sharing and possibility in this first spouse's summit regarding global human trafficking
we pray for the good and sustained health of our first ladies and of all assembled
and all whose hearts are carried in these issues today we recognize the power of technology to
uplift and strengthen our bonds and our friendships across our two great states
and across this country and we thank you god for your grace
we know too that technology can be used shamefully to prey upon and exploit those looking
for connection and exploring wonder as adults we are to protect our children
shielding them from harm's way we are to build a healthy world for them giving
them most impressionable giving those most impressionable the legacy of what is sublime
holy and transcendent god may we not manipulate others for our advantage help us may we realize how we
are enmeshed in our public and private lives and may we know the magnitude of our
actions comments and clicks may we use the instruments of law legislation and policy of pulpits and
media platforms to raise the bar on what is possible may we see what is possible when we
access the better angels of our nature to elevate and inspire may our children
grow to be confident in their identities and inhabit their fullest power
may our children prosper in the modeling that we offer master of mercy enable us to walk inside our homes and
online with a heart of integrity as our holy texts teach
bless the works of our hands and list lift all of us up in value
place a hedge of protection around all of us to increase our feelings of self-worth joy
trust and generosity and helping others succeed and thrive in hebrew uf
spread over us your canopy of peace restore us with your good counsel and
save us for the sake of your holy name let us learn today let us imagine something different
online tomorrow and please allow us to work mightily together
to solve these difficult dilemmas of our age amen
amen thank you neil y'all can see why i invited him to speak he's wonderful
now we have a special message from first lady abbott who unfortunately couldn't be here but is definitely here in spirit
and i will play that now see
hello i'm cecilia abbott as the first lady of texas one of my top priorities
is working with communities and leaders to put an end to the heinous crime of
human trafficking across texas thousands of people are exploited through forced labor or the
sex trade nothing more than modern day slavery human traffickers hold children women
and men against their will they attempt to destroy their individuality and strip away their
dignity some of these victims are sold as young girls and boys sold as mere property as
a mother this truly breaks my heart in today's world there are deceitful
hidden predators who prey upon our children who seek to rob them of their innocence
and childhood texas is a national leader in the fight against human trafficking
i am so proud of the critical work being done by the child sex trafficking team
and the governor's office and of all of our state agencies who are engaged in
this battle each and every day and of faith communities advocacy
organizations and professionals who are helping to raise awareness promote healing and secure
justice i am especially proud of our survivor leaders who selflessly share their
stories together we are recognizing and recovering victims supporting their
healing from complex trauma holding abusers accountable and bringing justice
to survivors and moving upstream to protect children and prevent exploitation in the face of such evil it
would be easy to lose hope but hope always remains now more than ever as our world faces
such challenges we know how much community matters i have no doubt that by joining together
the seeds of hope that we sow will grow and flourish together we can help end human
trafficking because nothing on this earth is more powerful than texans
helping texans as i close i ask god to bless all who are hurting and suffering
and may he forever bless the great state of texas thank you
okay and i would say i would add to that there's nothing more powerful than us
all helping each other and the collaboration between states is truly stunning
um we're just so honored to be able to put together this installment of our quarterly summits
um this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart as um former director
of the texas office at the national center for missing exploited children and
something that is increasingly distressing about what's happening to our kids
all children are vulnerable to this crime and it's growing exponentially
with the children's use of messaging apps and online games
reports of online enticement of children to the national center for missing and exploited children have increased by
97.5 percent from 2019 to 2020 and we're so fortunate
to have nick nick the national center here with us today let's talk more about that
increasingly also traffickers are finding recruiting and selling their victims online
and even with these new challenges i am confident that together
we can continue to make progress in our fight to end exploitation of children and youth we're so grateful to
have here today with us several experts who are going to be talking to you not only about the existing problem and the
trends but also about solutions you can bring home to your states
and so we'll have homeland security investigations the national center for missing exploited children the mccain
institute the carly ryan foundation and a new initiative called not on our
watch texas and i'm very hopeful and and trusting that this event will inspire you today
to take action to protect our most vulnerable youth so with that i wanted to just give you a
quick um overview of what we do at the child sex trafficking team in texas
we've been around about five years for those of you who don't know we were created by the legislature and
we really have five main goals and they are to protect children and youth um
from online exploitation from sexual exploitation in all of its forms including trafficking by preventing this
from happening in the first place and by curbing demand for commercial sex we want to recognize our victims
and recognize them as victims and survivors rather than perpetrators and we do that by raising public awareness
and also administering and implementing screening tools throughout the state
and i i hear that louisiana is also going to be bringing screening tool not to steal your thunder dr hunter but
we're really excited about that we work to recover victims with empower
and empowering and protective responses rather than punitive ones we want to
support their short and long long term healing through funded grants as well as lots of
training and leveraging existing collaborations to do more and
lastly of course we want to bring justice by holding their perpetrators accountable but also by bringing
survivors to justice as they define it survivors define justice as not just
putting their traffickers in jail but by helping them achieve autonomy
empowerment and finding that self again that they lost during their trafficking
episodes so that's really what our team does and we're so excited to work so closely with
so many other states i also wanted to just we we just have to give you a brief update of our legislative successes this
last regular session in texas it was truly unprecedented and unexpected giving all
the other issues that are on the table in texas but we did get a lot done this session and at the end governor abbott
had a ceremonial signing of nine of those pieces of legislation so we have a whole
legislative update on our website i encourage you to go see it i'm just going to point out a few things
many of these bills were geared toward prevention and recognition and
which is something that we haven't done in the past we've focused on you know stiffening
penalties increasing penalties and those sorts of things but this time i think our state is really finally to finally
getting to realize that we can get ahead of this we can go upstream so some of the things we did we borrowed an idea
from our neighbors in louisiana and we basically made it a crime to
hire anyone under the age of 21 and sexually oriented businesses and to admit anyone as a patron under 18 in
those businesses we know that these businesses are hotbeds of exploitation and we believe that by protecting youth
from these businesses we are preventing exploitation and trafficking we also are um requiring human
trafficking signage in all kinds of places and including tattoo parlors that
was an idea given by our friend larissa plinto who i believe is on today from
congressman mccall's office as well as schools hotels um
you know all kinds of businesses convenience stores any business regulated by our texas alcoholic and
beverage commission and then we created a a hotel training for all hotels employ
hotel employees to understand trafficking and to understand that they cannot be retaliated against by
reporting trafficking we also looked at um reducing demand right
that's one of the key things we have to do to curb this crime and curb the market and so
for the i think we're the first state you know texas likes being the first but hopefully all of you want to be the
second we made the buying of commercial sex the soliciting of commercial sex for the
first time doing that a state jail felony and this has already resulted in
multiple law enforcement agencies since september 1 when this law went into effect to try to really go after the
demand side of this equation just last week maybe earlier this week tarrant
county fort worth announced that they had done a buyer sting which resulted in
115 buyers being arrested um which is huge
right this is going to help us raise awareness that buying our people is not okay
and then lastly i just wanted to mention we do have um new um a new grant program that was
um going to be funded out of lice specialty license plates and donations
to go to help supporting those healing uh programs for victims so lots of great
things going um check out our website for more on that and um let's see if i can get to our
website um here it is we've got a great legislative webinar by my my colleague
todd ladiolas on on our website so check that out and next i have the extreme
um honor and privilege to introduce my friend who i've been working alongside
for what two three years now um dr dana hunter dana is for those of you in
louisiana know her but for those of you are not from louisiana she's a native of baton rouge
and she was appointed to be the executive director of the governor's office children's cabinet
in the governor's office in louisiana and recently on july 1st
was appointed to serve as the very new executive director of the governor's office of human trafficking prevention
she's going to share a few words about what her office has in store
thank you andrea and thank all of you thank you first lady edwards for your leadership
um for our state and first lady abbott for your leadership as well and i will tell you that andrea and i
we have worked tight at the hip over the last several years to really um help bring louisiana
on the map and to bring louisiana up to speed in our efforts to to combat this
crime and we are so proud of our governor and first lady who has just
taken the reins of this issue and um really just marched across the country
to say not here in louisiana and so i'm so proud and grateful to god just to
have a small part in this and i'm grateful to also have the honor to leave this office
i will tell you that the office of human trafficking prevention is so critical to our state
we have a mission to promote healing safety and justice for all citizens of
our of our state not ignoring any population because trafficking can
impact any population we're extremely careful to monitor and to watch and put
in efforts and strategies for those who are most vulnerable those in oj custody foster care those with intellectual
disabilities those in rural communities and so we are really
looking at implementation of best practices we have meetings and consultation sessions
with texas all the time because as first lady edward said we do not need to reinvent the wheel as you
know here in louisiana sometimes our resources are skim and so we don't believe in reinventing
the wheel and so we use every partner possible to say hey what works well how
can we tweak how can we um use what's working to help here in louisiana and so
our office has a goal to implement data driven
survivor informed strategies and i say that very carefully why because data is
important we don't want to just do things we want to allow the data to drive what are the gaps what are the
soft spots and how can we improve where we are so we are pleased to note that
our office the new office in just such a short period of time we are securing a contract we found
funding and we have secured a contract with to implement
a new software a best practice technology known as lighthouse lighthouse is an automated system which
can analyze collect and analyze data on human trafficking victims and survivors
and those who are high risk so we can better tell the story of what are some of the gaps what are we seeing what are
some of the patterns so we're so proud and the state of texas has this really statewide uh and it's been a huge
benefit to the state of texas so we here in louisiana hopefully we can say that we're the
second state but we are so proud to have this technology come to our state as we
have gone over the last several years through funding from the u.s
we have had funding to roll out a grant known as the louisiana child and you trafficking collaborative
one of the key components of that grant was to improve victim identification
we did that through a partnership with west coast known as the see it we have trained over what over 200
service providers in implementing the see it a best practice screening tool and so with that we are just elated that
now we have a partnership with an organization who can help analyze this data
we're using this the country's paradigm and model which is known as the four ps
prevention protection prosecution and partnerships and if i can add a fifth
one prayer a fifth p would be prayer um but we are so excited to embrace this
model so in addition to the see it in addition to data driven survivor and form strategies
we are really looking forward to um doing a statewide creating and establishing a
statewide care coordination model once survivors victims are identified we want
to make sure that wherever they are found wherever they are identified that they can enter into a system or a model
where they can get the services the treatment that they need throughout all the way to recovery and so we're
excited we're getting the partnerships that we need with law enforcement district attorneys medical providers
we're working closely with our first lady on statewide awareness and we're just excited at what's to come here in
louisiana and lastly i'll say nothing about us without us everything we do is informed by our
survivors so thank you so very much for this time and we look forward to partnering if there's anything we can do
to help please reach out thank you thank you dana we're excited for your
efforts and to see what y'all do next um i want to get started with our programming now on online safety and i
have the distinct pleasure of introducing jack station who is special
agent in charge of homeland security investigations jack like myself like rabbi blumhoff
like many of us today has um both louisiana and texas ties um currently
he's acting special agent in charge of homeland security in new orleans which
encompasses louisiana arkansas and mississippi in the new orleans office but prior to that he
served as the deputy director of the joint task force west in san antonio texas
and was he had that was a component of the department of homeland security's southern border and approaches campaign
he served in numerous field and headquarters leadership positions throughout his career including special
agent charge for u.s and customs enforcement homeland security el paso
and he is a member of the senior executive service team with over 26 years of law enforcement border security
emergency management and criminal intelligence experience he began his career as a border patrol agent with the
immigration and naturalization service in 1995. jack will you tell us a little bit about
your perspective on this ongoing growing crime of online exploitation and
tell us what can we do about it yes thank you good afternoon and thank
you for inviting me to join on today's panel i appreciate the opportunity to set light on the critical and relevant topic
of child exploitation and human trafficking i want to start by sharing how my agency
homeland security investigations which is also known as hsi is combating these horrific and traumatic crimes on a
global level i hope that the information provided here encourages all of us parents
friends family educators and alike to have a discussion and talk about internet safety
i'll start by giving a brief overview of hsi's mission and our role in investigating human trafficking and
child exploitation i'm also going to share some recent scenarios of cases and examples of
trends that our agents in the field are seeing as well as some strategies used by predators to groom children
lastly i'll share what hsi is doing to proactively combat crimes of
exploitation hsi is a division within immigration and customs enforcement
we're also the principal investigative component of the department of homeland security and we're responsible for
investigating over 400 statutes hsi is the second largest criminal investigative agency in the united
states and we're the largest criminal investigative agency within the department of homeland security
our workforce consists of more than 10 400 employees assigned to
over 250 offices across the united states and more than 80 offices around
the world we have a broad legal authority to conduct federal criminal investigations
into illegal cross-border crimes the movement of people goods money
technology and other contraband throughout the united states we utilize our authorities to
investigate a wide array of transnational crime that includes human trafficking and
child exploitation crimes one of our top priorities is to protect
the public from crimes of victimization hsi personnel from around the world work
non-stop to protect children from exploitation by predators who are involved in the production distribution
and possession of child sexual abuse material and who travel internationally to engage
and elicit sexual conduct with minors hsi is recognized as a global leader in
the fight and we are committed to utilizing our authorities our international footprint
and strong government and non-governmental partnerships to take an integrated victim center approach
to identify and rescue child victims to identify and apprehend offenders
to prevent transnational child sexual abuse and to help to make the internet a safer
place for children hsi has created two centers dedicated to
our global fight against the exploitation of victims by criminals and transnational criminal organizations
the department of homeland security center for countering human trafficking and the homeland security investigation
cyber crime center which is also known as c3
excuse me hsi's child exploitation investigations focuses on three key areas
investigating individuals and networks who commit online criminal activities protecting children from crimes of
victimization and third finding predators who produce or distribute sexually explicit
materials containing child victims c3 uses the latest technology to collect
evidence and track the activities of individuals and organize groups who sexually exploit
children using the dark web and internet-based platforms
similar to hsi's child exploitation mission the agency's human trafficking investigative mission is twofold
we proactively identify disrupt and dismantle cross-border human trafficking organizations
and minimize the risk they pose to national security and public safety we employ a victim center approach
whereby equal value is placed on the identification rescue and stabilization of victims
as well as on the deterrence investigation and the prosecution of traffickers
we're excited because in september of 2020 we officially established the center for
countering human trafficking in washington dc it is staffed with personnel from 16 department of homeland
security components and headquarters offices including agents victim support specialists
intelligence research specialists and other experts focused on dismantling and
disrupting human trafficking organizations and providing support and protection to their victims
offenders involved specifically in the online sexual exploitation of children
have long been early adopters in new technology to help to evade detection
and current availability of software accessibility of interactive platforms
and the dark web is making it easier than ever for predators create and access
existing material and directly reaching out to our children these technologies include applications
that provide encryption to hide files and communications as well as software and related infrastructure that offers
concealment while the dark web's technical composition continues to be a challenge for law enforcement we pursue these
crimes using our investigative enforcement experience and expertise to infiltrate identify and arrest those
utilizing the dark web for their illicit activities an example of a case that we have
conducted it was actually our portland maine office was a international investigation
worked with the government of the philippines and in that investigation you had traffickers
that were sexually exploiting children through live stream so individuals would
go onto the site and watch the exploitation live
working with the government of the philippines we were able to identify the network identify the
perpetrators and it actually resulted in the prosecution of the traffickers in the philippines
for philippine for violations of human trafficking under philippine
law which shows the connection between cyber online exploitation and human
trafficking some of the current trends we're seeing in the field is the use of u.s bay or excuse me is
the use of non-u.s based apps and sextortion a recent case our agents dealt with
involved a 13-year-old boy sending nude photos of himself through snapchat to
whom he thought was a girl his age when in fact it was a grown man
that of course led to the grown man trying to get more information more photographs out of the
young boy before he came forward and he told his parents of what had happened a similar sextortion investigation led
our agents to a female victim who was coerced not only in in sending increasingly
graphic and explicit material but also money and a video
of the victim victim harming herself before she found the courage to tell her
family what was going on and what had happened while she was online
the important thing to note here is that these extortion crimes can happen to any child who is active online
and often occur over time predators will operate on the open internet in any application or gaming
platform that has messaging capability and is susceptible to exploitation
attempts a predator will groom his victim or her victim over time offering
compliments on the victim's personality and physical appearance and will buffer befriend them into sharing personal
details and eventually explicit material the dark web is full of manuals teaching
predators how to groom children for exploitation these extortion crimes cause financial
and emotional distress they leave long lasting trauma and have in some cases led to suicide
i have seen predators using grooming techniques in both human trafficking and child exploitation for years i've been
working human trafficking cases for almost 20 years formerly with the immigration naturalization service and then moving
on to immigration customs enforcement and homeland security investigations
an example of one of the cases i had years ago actually in dallas texas
was korean females being groomed and coerced to come into the united states
being told they were going to come in receive visas and they'd be working in restaurants and working in stores when
in fact they were being brought in and placed into massage followers and were
victims of sex trafficking through those investigations just like
with some of the child exploitations they were groomed in korea they were made promises
they thought they had a friend and someone who was looking out for the best interest only in turn to become
a victim of sex trafficking hsi's approach
is that outreach and prevention is the best way to proactively combat these horrific crimes
prevention is the best way to protect our children preventing explicit material from being created and shared
and preventing long-lasting trauma from occurring in an effort to time in an effort to provide timely
information about internet safety to parents and children we have partnered with the national center for
mission exploited children's netsmartz and the internet crimes against children
icac task forces to develop project eye guardian which is on the next slide
the project is an outreach effort to communicate the dangers of web-based environments
how to help kids stay safe online how to report the abuse and suspicious activity
particularly why kids are spending more time online during the covet 19 pandemic
and over school breaks in addition the i guardian team helps children stay safe online by
providing safety tips a number to call and a website with links to more information and resources
the website's actually www.ice.gov iguardian
hsi believes that providing children teens and parents and teachers with information regarding the dangers of
online environments and how to stay safe online can help prevent many instances
of child exploitation and potentially human trafficking
in addition to education and outreach hsi encourages everyone to look within
their communities to continue protecting children and preventing exploitation crimes work with your elected officials
to voice your concerns about online regulation and legal limitations that may expose children to online predators
and traffickers hsi has been extremely successful with providing technical assistance to u.s representatives and
senators who work to pass legislation designed to combat global child exploitation and trafficking including
the passage of the 2016 megan's international megan's law the international megan's law
formally established hsi's angel watch center managed by the hsi child
exploitation investigations unit at c3 as a joint effort with the united states
customs and border protection and the united states marshal service in identifying sexual predators traveling
overseas registered sex offenders to be exact so with these efforts and looking
at you know how can we combat this working with our
you know elected officials working with our non-governmental organizations producing
programs like eye guardian that can be utilized with schools to inform and educate not only children
but educators and parents and family members on internet safety
we have gone a long way in trying to combat child exploitation
and the future is going to be education in my opinion because we are a law
enforcement agency hsi's a law enforcement agency and we're not going to be able to arrest our way out of this
we are going to have to educate and make people aware of the dangers that are online and the dangers that exist
every day where individuals are grooming and trying to recruit children not only for child exploitation but potential
human trafficking in closing i want to thank you for your time and attention today
and i hopefully gave you a informative overview of not only hsi's efforts to find and rescue child exploitation and
human trafficking victims but as well as to prevent and deter future victimization
i ask that you share how to report any suspicious activity including instances of child
exploitation or human trafficking through hsi or your local police department tips can be
submitted to hsi online at www.hsn
tipline or by phone at 866 dhs
to ice reports can also be filed with the national center for missing and
exploited children at 1 800 the lost or online at
reportcybertip.org and that concludes my presentation thank you very much for having me and allowing
me to be part of this uh part of this summit thank you
thank you special agent station um now i'd like to introduce belinda swann
from the national center for missing and exploited children she is the outreach manager
there um in austin texas at the texas regional office and she focuses her efforts on
delivering nick nick's child safety programming and on implementing the community education partner program which you
should learn more about today she is passionate about bringing communities together to recognize address and
prevent internet safety issues affecting children such as online exploitation and solicitation she brings over 20 years of
experience to nick mc including her work with the texas attorney general's office law enforcement division and the council
on at-risk youth she received a ba in government and mexican-american studies from the university of texas at austin
and will graduate this december with a master's degree in public affairs from the university of texas rio grande
valley thank you belinda thank you for that wonderful introduction it's such an honor to be
here today uh nick mc is absolutely just so excited to be able to share some of
this information with you today um next slide please i am located in austin texas but we do
have a national reach so if there's anything that you see in today's presentation that you would like more information about if you'd like to
contact me directly uh to learn more about any of the topics discussed my contact information will be made
available to you and it's also included at the end of this presentation so before we dive into the the data i just
want to very quickly talk to you about our organization um we were founded in
1984 in part by john and rivera walsh who you may be familiar with because of a lot of the work that they do in this
space globally quite frankly but it is uh from their own personal
experience that we were we were founded their son adam was tragically uh
abducted and murdered when he was six years old so out of that uh compassion
and and empathy for other families experiencing similar tragedies is is how nick mc was founded and our mission as
you can see is is three-pronged it is to find missing children reduce child sexual exploitation and to prevent
future victimization hope is why we're here and that seems to be the theme throughout today's
presentation and that makes me so happy uh next slide please i i do want to share that some of the things i will
talk about today may be a little um well they are they're uncomfortable they're unsettling uh so do take a deep
breath and know that at the other side of um processing this information is
understanding and being able to tackle these issues together so let's talk a little bit about child sexual
exploitation what that means at this center next slide please so for our purposes uh as you've heard
in the previous presentation and throughout we do receive cyber tips via the cyber
tip line and we also receive reports uh by 1-800 the lost and so we we have
analyzed uh that information or those reports over periods of time and consistently and most recently we see
these types of sexual exploitation uh consistently with child sexual abuse
materials being the uh the most reported incident uh at the national center next
would be online enticement and then trafficking and sex tourism and on and
on as you can see on the list but again by and large uh the most reported incident is child sexual abuse material
but there are several uh nexuses if you will or points of of of
intersection with reports of csam and other types of crime as you will learn
today next slide please so again i'm going to echo some things
that you've heard but at the national center uh last year was a historic one with regard to reports in fact
we saw 28 increase in overall reports to the cyber tip line but when we take a
deeper look at that data we saw an almost 100 increase in online enticement
reports that's very troubling uh next slide please and indicate several things
uh for one we recognize that children certainly were at home more more often
than than usual last year at the height of the various pandemic shutdowns or lockdowns but we also
recognize that a lot of the things that we realized we could do online during the height of the lockdowns um virtually
we're still doing right and we recognize that our children are still socializing online now more than ever certainly more
than my generation for instance and we need to recognize that uh to better inform our strategies to help prevent
these types of crimes so let's discuss online enticement again you can see uh the the definition and
then here are some of the the key facts that we have seen consistently and again this is based solely on the reports that
we receive at the national center we see some commonalities across these reports children of all ages can be a victim of
online enticement i'd like to to echo what you heard in the previous presentation all ages and let's think
about that um what does that mean right well what that means is and we'll discuss as we do a deeper dive into the
data but we also have to think about the fact that our children have access to the internet by a variety of different
um mechanisms right whether it's a gaming uh platform or a cell phone or tablet
our children have access at a much younger age too right so that's a part of this as well most children do not
know the person they are communicating with online most child victims and again based on the data we see at the center
are female online enticement this is so important as we uh think about ways we can work together to
to prevent and combat these issues most or online enticement can occur on various platforms right um we we get a
lot of the same questions at the center well which platform or which social media um app should i just flat out band
in my home what should i tell my kids that they can't do and the short answer is there isn't any one bad app per se um
we can we certainly have the data that indicates that these types of cases are reported on all social media uh
platforms and various uh messaging apps gaming platforms so you can see the
theme here right the commonality is access right most offenders are male per hour reports and have been reported to
vary widely in age so two key things all of this is key information but two key
things to keep in mind as we start to consider how we approach preventing uh these type of instances from happening
right children of all ages and most offenders have been reported to vary widely in age so we'll start to make
some connections uh with prevention strategies in a second so and again i did mention that some of
this is very unsettling but again we have to understand the issues so that we can tackle it so based on our data i can
share that the overall offender goals so what the intent is behind the solicitation based on our report 60
are for content right so the offender um is not necessarily interested in engaging in in sexual activity with the
child but rather is interested in um gaining photos and videos and as you
heard there's often a connection to sextortion so once this offender has received the content they will start to
to sextort the child to create more content and i'll share an example of what that looks like in a second so next
we see uh 32 percent um can you go black thank you uh is for actual uh sexual uh
uh contact with the child a little over uh almost eight percent is to uh engage
in explicit conversation or role play so the intent of these offenders is not necessarily physical contact uh but
conversation instead and then we do see several reports where the the the uh the
goal is financial uh so uh and again another sextortion nexus where you know
i will release all of these photos i will release all of these videos to everyone that you know if you don't give me uh x amount of
dollars right so we certainly see those types again so again i hope that you're recognizing a lot of the different ways
that online enticement and extortion can turn into other types of crimes as well
next slide please so you've heard uh let's talk about the
cyber tip line today and i just wanted to to briefly talk to you about what that means and how the cyber tip line
works uh so when you call 1-800 the lost or si or visit cybertipline.org it
triggers several things first and foremost our amazing and very brave and committed dedicated analysts are going
to take the information provided by that report and look to see first and foremost if the child is in clear and
present danger right and we're they're going to prioritize these reports uh analyze and try to at the center one of
the benefits of reporting is that we just have so many different ways to process data
we have access to databases uh we can run them against other reports and look for commonalities and information to
help identify the victim and the perpetrator so once we package and prioritize that information we send it
to the appropriate law enforcement jurisdiction who in turn will start their own investigation one another
important uh thing that i want for you to consider uh when reporting to to the national center is that we also provide
mental health resources in the area we have partnerships with mental health providers throughout the country to provide either or low
cost services wherever you are wherever your survivor is and we also have a peer network of folks
who give of themselves who have survived some horrible things to provide support to those who are
going through it now so again just another thing to consider when reporting to the national center next slide please
so let's talk about that data and again it's a little unsettling but it's going to help us to understand just how important our prevention strategies are
and how we should target them so in 2020 the cyber tip line received 21.7 million
reports that's just one year of those total reports there were 65.4 million
files and when we look at what type of files we're looking at just over 33
million images and 31.7 million videos in addition to other kinds of files i
know that's difficult to wrap your your mind around behind every one of these reports is a child that needs our help
next slide please so when we consider the identity of
these children based on our statistic statistical analysis 71 of the victims
identified are female 29 are male and again i know this can be unsettling but
the age of the victim is uh also broken down for you here uh these are
pubescent children mostly uh pre-pubescent and unfortunately infants and toddlers are also victimized in this
way so this is what we mean when we say that this is a crime uh that affects children of all ages right uh including
uh infants and toddlers and so again uh what although this is extremely uh uncomfortable the takeaway here that i
hope that you will lead with is that we've got to reach our children with information and prevention strategies at
a younger age right it's never too early or too late to have these conversations and and to talk about these difficult
topics and internet safety specifically but we must recognize that these crimes absolutely affect our youngest children
and need our intervention at a younger and younger age next slide please
so this slide again is to help us kind of understand some of the trends we're seeing at the center and also especially
for my child serving professionals in the audience um i i bet you recognize something that's very similar to the
abuse that we other kinds of child abuse that we see in in person right so 50 of
the victims reported to the center had direct uh the their perpetrators had direct access to that child right so
it's somebody that they knew and you can see the breakdown there for you and then the other categories that we
recognize uh that are continuing to increase our online enticement self-production which we'll discuss and
of course you see all of the other categories but what's important here to recognize and i'll say it again is that
this type of activity is absolutely child abuse right this is child sexual
abuse and it must be thought of that way so that we can tackle it in in the way that we do various uh other types of
physical and sexual abuse of a child so again consider that 50 of these perpetrators have direct access to the
child uh next slide please so again some of the trends that we're seeing at the center certainly seen an
uptick in sexting right in instances where that turns into sextortion uh that
photo was intended for one person perhaps and was shared without consent uh online enticement and live streaming
right so children we're seeing a huge uptick in youth produced content in children of all ages
many times it's not intended to be sexual in nature but for a predator who's looking for that kind of content
it is sexual in nature right so again with with uh more access at a younger age and children and socializing and
engaging more so online than ever before we are absolutely seeing an increase uh
in huge numbers in these especially these these uh types of activity right so sexting uh online enticements
extortion and live streaming are on the rise uh next libraries so here's an example of how our
processes work so you can see on the slide here we received a call or a tip i should say a report from a concerned
father who found hundreds of images and videos of his uh then 14 15 year old
daughter he reported to the national center we did all of the pertinent intake we
offered uh you know mental health and peer support processed it looked for any
information that would identify the suspect realized that he was likely living in alabama based on our
data search once we were able to put that information together we shared it with two different law enforcement
agencies and you can see just how quickly this happened law enforcement was able to establish this um
person who was victimizing 16 uh total young girls across the country so again
it took one father having um the insight that something was going on
with his child right he recognized that something's going on with his child took a look at the phone heartbroken
found these you know devastating images and videos but also recognized i'll share with you that uh
his daughter was being sextorted as well right so she thought she was communicating with a particular
individual and then once these images and videos were shared the situation flipped right now he was starting to
post these images and videos on reddit and was threatening her uh you know enforcing her to create more he
was going to continue to distribute these photos and videos in fact i believe he told her um if you're
not going to do this anymore you need to find somebody else to replace you or i'm going to continue to share these photos
and videos right across across the world so again it took that concerned parent making that first step and law
enforcement was able to take it uh to the other end get justice for this child right so again um this is a community
approach that and it requires all of us to know what to look for um what conversations to have with our children
and working together to bring these perpetrators to justice and to get our children with the assistance that they
need next time please so again i want to reiterate we've received reports of online enticement of
children on almost every single digital platform there is no one good or safe or
one entirely bad platform what it boils down to uh next five please
is our prevention in preventing future victimization by our
conversations right what can we do together to help to prevent this from happening again
the top threat is of course as we've discussed throughout today's presentations access
access access access we've got to think about it that way right we have to remove that blind spot and recognize
that our children pandemic or not are socializing online they're gaming um they're chatting throughout the day on
their cell phones and we've got to have these conversations with them as we do uh when we uh teach them to look both
ways before they cross the street to buckle up before they uh they they put the car in drive you know all of these
kinds of stranger danger things that some of you that may have grown up in the 80s like me remember we have to have
these same kinds of conversations about their conduct online as well right so uh next slide please
and some of the ways that we do that at nick nick and thank you so much special agent station for sharing uh that your
agency also uses netsmartz all of our resources are free and available online you can take a picture here to learn
more uh of the qr code i should say uh we certainly have uh videos tip sheets games so many
different ways to communicate we understand that these topics are difficult and so we try to lessen that
that that burden by by giving you some guidance on how to have some of these conversations with your children your
students and your clients next slide please again more examples of different tip
sheets i wanted to bring attention especially to our uh helpful information about how to talk to children about whom
is a trusted adult in their life and for adults how we can be a trusted adult right a lot is writing on how we respond
to a child who makes that initial outcry right and so we offer some guidance on on that topic as well next slide please
more information for you and then lastly you can keep on going thank you next slide please
yes uh i hope that by sharing this example with you and talking about some of the other things uh services and
resources that provide that we provide we absolutely provide technical assistance so if you have a um
a a client or are working a case right now with a victim who has images that
are circulating online now we can work with them to try to remove them uh we also as i mentioned provide emotional
support we also provide assistance in locating an attorney to guide through some of these cases there are only uh
a few uh attorneys nationwide that work specifically with these kinds of cases i
say a few it's more than that but we have working relationships with them and are more than happy to connect you with
them as well to receive some legal guidance there and again we work with a variety of ndts
law enforcement agencies educators you name it we are here to provide our resources any time that you need us and
we hope that you can you will consider doing just that uh next slide please
lastly i hope you'll take us up on some of our resources some of them are on demand and available for you from the
comfort of your own home by apparent uh our nickname connect i should say we also have a parent connect series that's available online as well with bite size
uh you know little q a sessions with experts in the field from across the country to talk about these issues that
those videos are available today but these are some of the topics that you can uh um learn about by visiting
our website and certainly you can get there by the qr code i just want to thank everyone again for having us next
slide please and especially uh the governor's office for continuing to
be a steadfast supporter of the work that we do we are absolutely honored to be here i know i spoke really quickly
and shared a lot of information in a short amount of time so please do reach out with any questions or concerns i'm happy to chat
with you offline anytime thank you so much melinda that was great you gave us a ton
of information in a short amount of time i'm going to skip over to slide six
which is what kristen told me to do is this sit kristen uh next one you can go
there you go you're good okay let me introduce y'all a friend of mine kristen abrams who is the senior director of
combating human trafficking at the mccain institute in this capacity she provides strategic
leadership and operational management for the institute's program to combat all forms of trafficking she's truly an
expert at this subject and we were so delighted that she um and kelsey her
colleague came up with this campaign called real friends don't um for a variety of reasons and i'll let her tell
you that but we're just delighted she's here we are really um partnering with
the mccain institute to spread the messages of this campaign throughout the state of texas not only on social media
but we're doing a ton of press and our friends at outdoor advertising association of texas have
put billboards in 70 markets we believe in this campaign we believe it's making a difference and we're delighted that
you're partnering with us kristin to to help us to maybe get other states on board so
without a further ado i'm going to turn over to you all right thanks and thank you andrea um and special thanks to
first lady edwards and first lady abbott for convening us and being the inspiration for this convening today
we are um so delighted to be working in the state of texas and with andre and
todd and your amazing team there so the reason i asked andre to skip over my first several slides was first i want to
keep this short and the other reason is i start with all the facts that you just heard so belinda
gave you the sharp increase that we've seen in the number of online enticements and the amount of time kids are spending
online i think something that i always underline is that the age of children
and their social media usage has really gone down as a parent i've seen that when the pandemic started i had a
kindergartener and a third grader and my kindergartner is now fully fluent in navigating the internet
because she had to learn to be able to go to school and so we unfortunately can't put those genies back in the
bottle and so um we knew we needed to do something i will be very clear about what we are and what
we are not we are not nikmic we're not the cybertip line we're not the netsmartz campaign
we're not law enforcement what we are is a campaign to try and do
two things and andrea you can go to um the next slide
we are trying to give information to parents and caregivers to get them to be
comfortable to have the conversation with the young people in their lives about online safety
so i'll share a little bit more about what that will mean and then we talk
directly to young people and we try to create safe open spaces
where young people can come together to talk about online safety what it means
to have healthy online relationships and how to educate themselves to be
empowered and navigating the internet you can next slide um so we developed this campaign with
our partner at uh the pr firm ketchum it's called real friends don't the real
is a mnemonic of course and i'm going to make sure that i get it exactly right because sometimes i say the wrong things
the r stands for raise the topic so conversation starters on our website
realfriendsdown.org we have like the words you as a parent or
caregiver could use to start that conversation with a young person
educate educate yourself as a parent and caregiver on the platforms that your kids are using belinda's right it's not
just one social media platform it's gaming platforms it's a whole range of
different websites and platforms you got to know how to use them we have a how-to guide of how to set
parental controls and how to use some of these games and social media platforms that your kids are using
you need to act if something makes you or your child uncomfortable that's when
nick mc comes in we point you in the direction of the cyber tip line um and nick mc has been a great partner
to us as we've developed the campaign and then the l is just learn more on our
website again we have a resources section that gives you all sorts of
great information about this topic go ahead and advance
so the first part of our campaign was a social media campaign so using
influencers you can see some of the instagram posts that started rolling out late last year we
were so excited that we had over a million almost two million impressions
and i know now we are over uh where over that this piece of the campaign will will continue we continue
to use a small group of influencers to try to reach parents and caregivers and get them the information that they
need our next influencer campaign and please follow along share it like it do
whatever you need to do is next week the 18th through the 22nd in recognition of
digital citizenship week this week is going to explore the impact
that digital lives have on social and emotional well-being and this piece of
it will still be um focused on parents and caregivers next
oh i didn't know there was movement in there keep going yeah
we are constantly trying to evaluate the work that we're doing to see if we're reaching our target audience and
what we heard after we rolled out our first social media campaign
again directed at parents and caregivers were that you may not be reaching all parents and
caregivers particularly in african american and latinx households
some parents are not actively using social media and so they may not be seeing your posts you have to get your
message into them in another way and so we were so excited i think andre and i
were brainstorming and the outdoor advertising association of texas said well what if we donated some
billboard space would you be able to use your branding and your messaging and get
it up on these billboards direct people um to your website where they can find
more information we were like yes so we developed billboards different sizes in spanish
and english they're in thousands of boards throughout the state of texas it's ready to go we have all
the files we will give them to you we will give them to whoever we would love to see this in other states coming next
to arizona but wherever you have somewhere we could get this message up again spanish and english and
honor if you go to the next one i think we've got a shot of a spanish billboard here we would love
to share that with you i'll tell you everything we're doing is open source we give it all away we want
everyone to use it so if there's anything here that resonates please reach out to me andre if you go to the next slide it
probably is our video clip which we're not going to play in the interest of time but it's a 45 second clip you can
grab it from youtube you can grab it from our website and it talks about real friends don't what real friends do what
real friends don't how to start those conversations with kids so the most exciting new piece of our
campaign is around street art so as we started to add in the component of talking
directly to young people um we were trying to figure out okay if we don't
necessarily feel like we are well equipped to do this through tick tock which i will own i am not well equipped
to do this through tick tock how else can we reach young people and how can we create this space and we got to know the
chicago public arts group who said what about doing some street art would you be open for creating a mural we'll help you
find the space that's on the side of a building we're going to bring high school students together we're going to
talk about things like online safety other difficult topics we're going to get their ideas and then we have
commissioned two street artists to design a mural these photos that you see here are from
the workshop that we had just a couple of weeks ago we're waiting on the final design the mural should be unveiled in
november um and we would love to do this in other cities as well it really is
creating that space to have these conversations and it brings the community together in a way that i think
in an online environment really can't do so the last two pieces i will share with
you um to inform all of our work we're creating a youth ambassador's council we
are still accepting applications so if you know a young person a high school
student who would be interested in helping to advise us on social media gaming platforms the right language to
use coming up with new ideas send them my way this will roll out in early
2022 and then last but not least is our communications toolkit so if there are
pieces of this that you'd like to bring into your own community feel free to do that if you want a how-to guide on how
to do it there's a digital toolkit on our website you'll see um the resources
for twitter instagram and facebook and then we will have a community toolkit
that will include the billboard social media and the murals that should be ready in
the next month so i will finish there with one more slide just a thank you to all of our
partners so many of them are in the state of texas but this is list is growing by the day
we would love to partner with everyone on this call so please get in touch if we can be helpful to you help get these
conversations going to help keep kids safe online so thanks again for having me
thank you kristen and just to put it out there that one of the billboard companies lamar advertising has a huge
footprint in other southern states and they have been a great partner so
we could absolutely make this happen in your state um okay now i've got to introduce a a new
friend of mine a very important friend of mine and kind of the last speaker for
today um and i'm going to do it by playing a video that's going to tell you
her and her daughter's story i can get to work
okay that's it it was 2006. and cup
oh sorry ali was doing well at school was close
to her mum and had just fallen in love with the boy she met online she was
quite kitty as a normal teenager would be and she said i think this boy really likes me mum i really like him
but the person on the other end wasn't the young musician from melbourne he claimed to be the real person was gary
francis newman a 50 year old pedophile and predator who was operating over 200
fake profiles online to lure young girls over 18 months newman and his son worked
together to gain carly's trust eventually convincing her to meet them an hour away from her home in adelaide
or apparently they tried to rape her
and she resisted so there were signs of resistance at the
crime scene and then um proceeded to to bash her and murder her do you
remember the last time you spoke to carly she was leaving on that day to go meet her friends as i thought
and she did her hair and she bought a pretty dress she looked gorgeous i think we had about
four hugs at the door and the last thing i said to her was i love you darling be safe and she said
love you and just skipped off the veranda so carefree and happy
and i could have never of imagined that would be the last time i would see my daughter alive
carly ryan was the first girl to be murdered by an online predator anywhere
in the world i can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to identify your child's body
the worst experience of my life and to see what they did to her
physically and to see the trauma in her body was something that will stay with me
forever not all online predators are so brazen as to meet their victims in person many
use the anonymity of the internet to acquire explicit material from children
either for their own gratification or to on sell online to other pedophiles
peter's 13 year old son also came under the control of a pedophile online
blackmailed into sending increasingly explicit photos and videos told if he
didn't everything will be forwarded to his school and friends the online
predator sent a photo of a girl's breasts and then asked to
exchange with my son so he only pretended to be the 16 year old
girl for around five minutes after that five minutes he then had material from
my son which he could then use to extort the sun after a month peter's son broke
down and told his father what was happening surprisingly peter didn't block the predator i have a background
in fortunately and i took the time to collect all the evidence evidence that led to the arrest
and conviction of 24 year old sydney man curtis whaley in court he admitted to
collecting hundreds of videos and images from 49 victims under the age of 15
some as young as eight we need to myth bust that it is uh the old man in the
trench coat in the corner online because that's just not true in february 2020 the afp and its center
for countering child exploitation launched operation artstone a large-scale investigation into pedophile
networks that led to the arrest of more than 20 offenders on more than a thousand charges
use it too some of the cases have been extremely heinous and one thing that i would say is you never forget the first
time you have to look at either an image or a video of a young child or toddler
being sexually abused and hearing their cries to me as a police officer and a
mum it doesn't get any worse than that sonya ryan spends her life campaigning for
legislative change have open honest communication with your kids
make sure they know there is nothing that is so bad that they cannot come to you about it
2017 saw a huge win for sonia when carly's law was introduced making it
illegal for any adult who communicates with a child to lie about their age or
identity and meet or arrange to meet with a child the first law of its kind
anywhere in the world i mean losing my daughter was
by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me and it gives me a great
sense of honor to be able to do this on her behalf in her name gosh i just think of her
every single time i get a call from law enforcement or an email saying we have rescued a child with using carly's law
but the fight is far from over for sonia now she wants a crackdown on social
media platforms to be quite frank enough is enough it's time for them to absolutely step up
and address this i mean it is their duty to look after their young users on their
platforms why do you think they don't have a confidence their social media i believe that their focus is profit and
privacy but the reality is if they wanted to eradicate child exploitation off their
platforms they could do it overnight well for the kids watching if you find
yourself in negative support you can call the kids helpline on 180
so without further ado i want to introduce miss sonia ryan who is a new resident of
texas the united states of america we're so glad you're here sonia thank you so much andrea and thank you to everybody
attending today i feel very grateful for being able to be here in texas and to be able to bring
my daughter's legacy global the carly ryan foundation was established you know not long after i
lost my daughter when i fell into that deep grief that groundless grief
i really had the clarity to see the gaps in legislation and the gaps in
education at the time and wanted to make sure that i could do everything in my power to make sure that what happened to
carly didn't happen to another innocent child in the future and so i incorporated her legacy of the carly
ryan foundation next slide please andrea and you know really this is a legacy of
love this represents a love connection between myself and my daughter
and for me the possibilities are limitless this is a global pandemic
and i really feel that it's incredibly important for us all to work together uh to put an end to
this type of exploitation online these are just some of our services um very
hard prevent prevention focused next slide thank you our accreditations as an organization i
do a lot of work with federal government in australia and i am an ambassador for the australian federal police a lot of
the the knowledge and experience that i've gained over the last decade i'm now bringing across uh to the us to give my
time uh to the citizens here as i said this is a borderless crime
this is a global pandemic in itself and it's going to take a global community to
tackle this kind of exploitation next so this is carly's law um just to
give you a very quick overview of what it looks like it is preventative legislation rather than reactive
legislation an analogy i like to use is what is the point in pulling our kids out of the river
when we should be whole grabbing their hand before they fall in so we want to make sure that we're giving law
enforcement the ability to be able to go and rescue a child before they're harmed rather than after harms happened the un
is supporting me to try and get this law into the criminal codes of as many countries as possible
next we also have a project connect program that i will be bringing here to the states called project connect
online safety and healthy relationship education this is all about creating emotional
intelligence for our kids resilience building critical thinking skills so that they can navigate the online space
safer and they know where to report we also provide resources for parents in the community
and uh these have information uh for parents to get their heads around essentially what their kids are doing
online next now i'm very very excited to announce
the launch of not on our watch texas an initial the foundation not on
our watch was spearheaded by lisa beth thomas founding president of texas women in business
and i'm delighted to introduce lisa to speak further on not on our watch
thanks thank you thank you thank you i am so excited to share this with you all
not on our watch texas is a grassroots movement that inspires and empowers women across
the state to become leaders in their own communities against child sexual abuse
and exploitation we are so thrilled about this because we're first and foremost bringing awareness to many
people that don't even realize it's a big issue and then education resources and support
but again within their communities so how we doing this we are firing up
the women of texas and they are saying no not on our watch
it's really very powerful we're in the process of finalizing our our strategy
our plan we had to tweak it a little bit due to covid but the outreach the buy-in the
the everything that women are saying across the state already is a resounding yes not on our watch how can we be
involved and so if you want some more information or not more information if you would like some information i'm not
on our watch texas and what we're doing please email me it's lb as in lisabeth
lb at not on our watch tx dot com i'll put it in chat and i know we're going
quick the first ladies up sonia thank you so much and we're excited to be a part and be an initiative here of the
carly law foundation thank you so much and thank you all for for listening i know we have
limited time but this is my daughter carly the legacy of love be part of our love
movement this is a global pandemic we must come together and fight this a disconnected approach
is simply not working it's not going to be easy but it's not impossible it's going to take the will and the bravery
of every single one of us to face this head on stand with me stand with my
daughter and be let us be the light for all the children that are yet to be identified and rescued our children are
literally our future and deserve a life free from exploitation and this is our
website have a look these are my contact details if you'd like to get in touch i'm staying right here and i really look
forward to continuing working with you andrea with you lisa and seeing what we can do
to help prevent this type of suffering thank you
and turn it back over to first lady donna edwards thank you so very much um thank you to
everyone thank you andrew for assembling this fabulous panel i'm
i'm just always amazed at the high level of work that's being done across our country and
so many great speakers with such important content today i can't say enough about what i've
learned i've wrote tons of notes and i hope that you all did too you know if we continue to collaborate
we move closer to eradicating this horrible crime and we welcome participation from all other states if
your state is interested in sharing your work please contact us hillary rice her contact information is on the chat we
would love to engage with other states as they as that only increases everyone's knowledge and skills my team has this
down to a science and i promise it's not that much work for on our end um just to
pull everybody together um andrea once again wonderful um group of speakers today
and i thank everyone we've had a great attendance today thank everyone for attending um if you could
fill out the survey that is in the link in the chat lff will post the resources from the summit on our website
louisianafirstfoundation.com under our human trafficking tab we also have some contact information
from my office and andrea sparks in the chat as well and the speakers once again contact them
all of their information is also going to be listed powerful information we should all take away today um and
look up for our following look for our following email that will come and contain even more information so thank you all for um
speeding up today i i hated that we have to push everybody through but we really wanted to have a lot of people join us
today and really be respectful of their time and we are so grateful for all the information so thank you again um for
your time and for this team and to everybody uh god bless and thank you for your hard work work each and every day
and for the first ladies um and for the first lady of texas and those other first ladies and spouses and offices on
thank you again for your attendance um it's only through spreading the word um and like
a sign you just mentioned it is a global issue and bringing all of us together and collaborating across zoom or and
these virtual um platforms is really necessary so god bless you all thanks so much