Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Shane Dixon at the Launching of the “Atingeri Nedorite” Campaign for Preventing Sexual Abuse on Children

Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Shane Dixon at the Launching of the “Atingeri Nedorite” Campaign for Preventing Sexual Abuse on Children, Hosted by the Romanian Police and Asociația Telefonul Copilului,

November 16, 2021, 10:30,

Romanian Police Headquarters

Good morning,
Deputy Inspector General Lință
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to be here and thank you for joining us this morning. It is always a pleasure to see colleagues and partners who have dedicated their time, expertise, and care to lessening the suffering of others and to protecting those less capable of protecting themselves.

We are here to promote an integrated approach against all forms of violence, particularly child sexual abuse. Over the years, we have dedicated significant resources and have worked alongside our colleagues from the Romanian Police to build strategies against offenders and crimes of all types, to include transnational threats of cyber-criminal groups, human trafficking, money laundering, visa and passport fraud, and online trade in illicit goods and services.

Our investigative partnership has been matched by equally consistent efforts to develop awareness and capabilities in the realm of combating violence, discrimination, and abuse.

We all know the adage that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. And that is why we gather, we partner, and we endeavor to protect our innocents, equip them with the tools they need to protect themselves, and give voice to the voiceless. Thank you, Romanian Police and Asociația Telefonul Copilului, for all that you do through your institutional partnerships and international collaboration.

Today is a step forward for our nations and our children. Indeed, their future will be shaped by their experiences when they are young. And together, we can help ensure those experiences are as safe and positive as humanly possible.

Speaking from the perspective of a career in law enforcement, I know there is no higher calling for any of us. Anyone who works to protect children from the lowest form of predation—sexual abuse—never needs ask themselves if they have made a difference. They have, and you have.

For over two decades, Embassy Bucharest has partnered with the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police to help craft and implement initiatives and consolidate resources to counter all stripes of violence and to protect our citizens and nations against those who would bring harm. Together, we have accomplished much, and many are the better and the safer for it. Through training and assistance programs, the U.S. Embassy has supported Romanian law enforcement to better protect vulnerable youth, find missing children, prevent child sexual exploitation, and eradicate commercial child pornography from the internet.

Together, we advocated for cyber security and introduced the most powerful investigative software tool available for online child sexual exploitation cases. We built the foundation of the AMBER Alert System to help those in imminent danger. We spoke publicly against domestic violence and trained together on the complex psychological, sociological, communication and educational issues that arise in any violence investigation. We addressed the challenges of hate or bias-based crimes and explored ways to educate ourselves on how to recognize and combat such issues. But in this domain, laurels simply cannot and must not be rested upon.
Shared practices and training have equipped us all to fight this fight. And now we must reach the potential targets of this crime against children. We endeavor to equip them and assure that they do not have to struggle with what they experienced, and they never have to decide whether to identify as the survivor or victim of another’s depravity.

Many in this room know all too well that truly effective law enforcement requires commitment from every corner of society. The decades have shown me that it also requires support from all allies. And that is why I am here. Our Embassy is incredibly proud to work with you all. We never lose sight that every American working and living in this nation becomes a part of the Romanian community.

We also all take a part of your country with us when we leave. What kind of guests, friends, and allies would we be if we failed to work on behalf of the vulnerable here?

We will continue to stand beside Romania, and all of its children and minors, and we will continue to contribute our resources, our knowledge, and our dedication to the struggle to better their lives and to better protect them all. Our bilateral law enforcement successes to-date—from the awareness-raising campaigns to sharing the very best investigative practices my nation has—are pivotal, and profoundly beneficial.

Our appreciation goes to the leadership of the Romanian Police and to the other officers present here today, particularly to the Crime Research and Prevention Institute within the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police.

Thank you all, it is a privilege to call you colleagues and partners.