Collaboration to Recover U.S. Exploited Youth: The FBI’s Innocence Lost National Initiative

Since 2003, FBI agents around the United States have partnered with state and local police officers to recover more than 2,300 children who have been forced into prostitution.

In June 2003, the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division/Violent Crimes Section/Crimes Against Children Unit developed the Innocence Lost National Initiative in coordination with the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The initiative targets criminal enterprises involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children through prostitution. Thirteen cities throughout the United States were initially identified as having a high incidence of child prostitution. These FBI field offices were encouraged to form Innocence Lost Task Forces or working groups with local law enforcement to address the threat within their communities.