KINGSTON, JAMAICA – Hear The Children’s Cry and its Jamaica Yellow Pages sponsored Missing Children’s Support Programme have been granted membership in the Global Missing Children’s Network hosted by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children. Jamaica is the first Caribbean country to join the Network. This means that the photograph (where available) and data for every child reported missing in Jamaica can be posted on this secure international website interface and database – a potentially life-saving move for missing children who may have been trafficked to other countries.
This was announced at a November 11 press conference hosted by Jamaica Yellow Pages at its 48 Constant Spring Road Corporate Headquarters, in association with Hear Children’s Cry Founder Betty Ann Blaine, and the organization’s Directors and team. Special guest presenter was Caroline Humer, Program Director at the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children, which oversees the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN), who presented an overview of the world situation regarding missing and abducted children.
Jamaica is therefore the 24th country to be represented in the GMCN, joining the following nations: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom and United States of America. GMCN members include law-enforcement (police) and non-governmental organizations working on missing children issues, including prevention, investigation and recovery.
Membership in the Network also affords Hear The Children’s Cry a number of important benefits, including:
- Training in the use of the GMCN website and related technical and practical assistance
- Participation in ICMEC programmes and conferences relating to missing children
- Assistance in awareness building on the issue of missing children targeted to government, law enforcement, NGOs and other stakeholders when necessary
- Participation, along with fellow GMCN members worldwide in the commemoration of May 25 as International Missing Children’s Day and the issuing of a unified message.
The press conference also served as the venue for the formal roll out of the new website of Hear The Children’s Cry, completely upgraded by Jamaica Yellow Pages as a special gift to Jamaica’s children. The address of the new interactive Hear The Children’s Cry website is www.hearthechildrencryja.com .
Hear The Children’s Cry, which spearheaded the formation of the Ananda Alert Rapid Response to reports of missing children in 2009, carries out active Advocacy/Public Awareness Programmes, Parent Education and Child Safety outreaches across Jamaica, and Counselling and Practical Support for families in distress. Its Missing Children’s Support Programme is the only entity, public or private sector, dedicated totally to the eradication and relief of the national missing children crisis.
Since its establishment in 2002 in direct response to violence affecting children, Hear The Children’s Cry has hosted vital multi-sectoral training for professionals dealing with missing children’s cases, as well as a number of national conferences on urgent child related issues. It also operates the National Youth Help Programme, involving training, employment and recycling, and has modeled a successful Prevent A Drop Out Programme.