Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) and The National Association to PROTECT Children issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice released their 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation and Interdiction:

“In 2008, when I authored the PROTECT Our Children Act and Congress passed it into law, I knew we could do so much more to protect our children from exploitation. This week, the Justice Department’s release of their 2016 National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction is a benchmark of the progress we have made in keeping our kids safe.

“Since the passage of the PROTECT Act, federal, state and local agencies have improved their coordination and accountability in combatting these heinous crimes. We are taking a more victim-centered approach that prioritizes the identification and rescue of children in harm’s way, enhancing analytical tools to keep up with technology, and obtaining data to better understand these crimes.

“Even in an often divided Congress, I’ve worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to increase funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children law enforcement task forces, authorize dedicated resources at the Department of Homeland Security’s Child Exploitation Investigations Unit, and hire more of our nation’s veterans to support child exploitation investigations through the HERO Child-Rescue Corps program.

“Every child deserves to grow up safe from exploitation and I will continue to be a voice and a vote for our nation’s children,” said Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23).

“Ten years ago we embarked on a partnership to protect children with leaders in both parties, most notably Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” said Camille Cooper, Director of Government Affairs of The National Association to Protect Children. “We could not have asked for a more dedicated, fearless warrior in this fight. The National Strategy is a benchmark of all the tireless efforts of law enforcement and government who have dedicated themselves to this cause. By way of this report it’s clear those efforts are paying off, measured in the numbers of children being rescued.”


Rep. Wasserman Schultz was the House Democratic lead on the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2008, which provided accountability across all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that worked on combating child exploitation crimes.