The Global Missing Children's Network commemorates May 25th as the International Missing Children's Day
For the 3rd year in a row, 13 members of the Global Missing Children's Network - a program of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) - are coming together to raise awareness about - missing and abducted children. The efforts of these members aim to highlight the importance of addressing this serious and global issue and the need for a global and comprehensive response.
Every day, all around the world, children go missing, run away, or are abducted by family or non-family members, and as a result, they face a heightened level of vulnerability and increased risk of exploitation. While the majority of children who are reported missing return on their own after a short period of time, the longer a child is missing, the more vulnerable he/she becomes. Therefore, it is paramount that countries are prepared to react and respond quickly to those cases.
Unfortunately, there is no global consensus on how to define "missing child" or on how to investigate these cases. This, in turn, makes it difficult to know the full extent of the problem and to determine how best to protect children from going missing/being abducted.
Conversely, having a clear understanding - and agreed definition - of what is considered a missing child, not only assists law enforcement's response, determining where and how to focus their resources, but provides critical insights into the situation of missing children and how other agencies/sectors beyond law enforcement are involved. Once collected, this information can be used to properly inform government policies to address the issue of missing children, thus assisting in the development of an effective national strategy. In turn, appropriate data collection and national strategies can further facilitate international collaboration, so critical to an increasing global issue.
Since 1983, families and child advocates have observed May 25th as an annual reminder that everyone can play a part in bringing a missing child home and that child protection must be a priority. As part of the ICMEC's Global Missing Children's Network, we celebrate and commemorate this day on behalf of all children of the world. Please join and help us in our mission to protect the world's most vulnerable citizens by visiting www.helpbringthemhome.org.au. Together we can help bring them home.