Every year, 25 May is commemorated as International Missing Children’s Day.
In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th “National Missing Children’s Day.”
The proclamation followed the 1979 disappearance of a six-year-old boy, Etan Patz, on his way to school in New York City. The case generated widespread indignation, and concern for missing children rose across the nation. Since the United States began remembering missing children in this way, other countries around the world have adopted similar commemorations.
25 May is now widely known as Missing Children’s Day, with the forget-me-not flower as its emblem. In 2001, 25 May was first formally recognized as International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD), thanks to a joint effort on the part of ICMEC, Missing Children Europe and the European Commission.
Since 2009, we have been promoting IMCD by disseminating a unified global message. The movement continues to grow. Every year, more countries commemorate IMCD, acknowledging the need for a harmonized response to protect vulnerable children.