On The Avenue

ICMEC is for the Children

by Ben Diamond Photographed by Owen Hoffmann/PMC
Thursday, May 11, 2017
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On May 4, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) threw its annual gala at Gotham Hall. Hosted by NBC News anchor Kate Snow, the event was a tribute to the heroes who help protect children. This year, the organization’s Champion for Children award went to the Academy Award-nominated film Lion. Telling the true story of the Saroo Brierley, who as a boy was separated from his family in India and took decades to find them again, the film has made audiences aware of the plight of missing children around the world.  


ICMEC board member Jeff Koons presented the award to the film’s producer, Harvey Weinstein. “I was with Harvey Weinstein when I saw Lion,” said Koons. “It hit home, capturing both the tragedy of a missing child and the hope one always must have.” Following the award, Brierley himself spoke to the audience about the film’s real life background. Facebook was also honored with the Global Impact for Child Protection award for its efforts to locate missing children. The website’s Director of Trust and Safety, Emily Vacher, accepted the award.


Since 1999, The International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children “has been a leader in identifying gaps in the global community’s ability to protect children from abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, and expertly assembling the people, resources and tools needed to fill those gaps.” They have trained over 10,000 law enforcement officers around the world, and have helped create laws against child pornography in 127 countries. Last week’s gala raised $1.3 million.


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by Kelly LaffeyPhotographed by Billy Farrall