Briefing Room

Project Safe Childhood

The Department of Justice and each United States Attorney’s Office are committed to protecting our children.  Advances in technology over the last two decades have made it possible for nearly all American children to have access to the Internet at home, in school, or in public libraries.  With these new advances in technology have also come obstacles for parents, teachers, and law enforcement.  It is estimated that, at any given time, 50,000 predators are online actively seeking out children.

In response to the increased dangers associated with the use of the Internet, the Department of Justice launched the national law enforcement initiative Project Safe Childhood (PSC) in May 2006.  The goal of Project Safe Childhood is to reduce the incidence of sexual exploitation of children and minors.  This initiative was designed to help law enforcement at the federal, state, tribal and local levels form collaborative partnerships to protect the children of this nation.  Through these partnerships law enforcement at every level partner together to investigate and prosecute those that exploit children.  Child exploitation may be seen in the form of child pornography, online enticement of children for sexual purposes, commercial sexual exploitation of children, and child sex tourism.  

In August 2010, the Department of Justice submitted The National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction to Congress.  The goal of the National Strategy is “ to prevent child sexual exploitation from occurring in the first place, in order to protect every child’s opportunity and right to have a childhood that is free from sexual abuse, trauma, and exploitation so that they can become the adults they were meant to be. This Strategy will accomplish that goal by efficiently leveraging assets across the federal government in a coordinated manner”.  The Department of Justice adopts this goal as the guiding principle for all current and future efforts to combat child exploitation.  In an effort to meet this goal, the Department will continue to focus on partnerships formed with state, local and tribal agencies; explore opportunities to increase awareness and education with regards to child sexual exploitation; and build on the successes already seen with the Project Safe Childhood initiative.