Press Release

Major International Conference in Brasilia to Address Global Problem of Missing Children

At Least 8 Million Children Go Missing Worldwide Each Year Including 40,000 from Brazil

BRASILIA, BRAZIL – A major international conference to address the global problem of missing children is being held this week in Brasilia, Brazil.  The US-based International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) today announced that it is holding a meeting of the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) in Brasilia through a collaboration with the Secretariat for Human Rights (SDH) and made possible through generous support from the Motorola Solutions Foundation and the Secretariat of Social Development and Income Transfer of the Federal District (SEDEST).

The problem of missing children is a global issue that needs the attention of law enforcement and government officials around the world.  It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year.  The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that nearly 800,000 children will be reported missing each year in the US.  Other credible sources cite 230,000 children go missing in the United Kingdom each year; 50,500 in Canada; 100,000 in Germany; 45,000 in Mexico; and 39,000 in France.  An estimated 40,000 children go missing each year in Brazil.

The objective of the Global Missing Children’s Network conference is to enable members to share best practices in dealing with the global problem of missing children as well as discuss other issues including street children in Albania, an update on research currently being done; the creation of a missing children’s hotline 116000 in Europe; a child alert program and other items related to missing children.  The meeting is expected to be attended by representatives from fourteen countries of the GMCN.
The GMCN conference will begin with a special session conducted by the Secretariat for Human Rights to discuss national and international best practices in reporting and handling missing children cases.

“The problem of missing children touches every nation.  Yet, most countries lack basic systems to respond.  The Global Missing Children’s Network currently has members from 19 countries.  It needs to have many times that number,” said Ernie Allen, President of ICMEC.  “The meeting this week in Brazil is historic and represents the beginning of a global effort to build effective systems in every country.  We are deeply grateful to the Brazilian government, to the SDH and the SEDEST for their commitment and support.  Brazil is a leader on behalf of the world’s children.  We are also grateful to the Motorola Solutions Foundation, our corporate partner which is helping build and grow the GMCN.”

The Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) was created in 1998 by ICMEC to establish a global network to share best practices, information and strategies on missing children.  Membership in the GMCN includes 19 countries:  Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.  Members receive annual training and are provided access to an international, multilingual database of information and photographs about missing children from around the world.  Access to the database also enables members to customize their countries’ websites to meet individual needs; quickly create missing child posters and display information and photographs of missing children in their countries.  Previous meetings of the GMCN were held in Travemunde, Germany; Sydney, Australia and Washington, DC in the U.S.

The Motorola Solutions Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic arm of Motorola Solutions.  With employees located around the globe, Motorola Solutions seeks to benefit the communities where it operates.  They have been a partner of ICMEC since 2010 and share our vision of a global network of many nations to save and protect the world’s children.  In addition to underwriting a portion of the cost of the conference being held this week in Brazil they have also provided a grant to host a training for law enforcement, government ministries and nongovernmental organizations in Brazil.  A previous grant from the foundation resulted in Albania and three additional states in Brazil joining the GMCN.

About the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children

The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) nongovernmental organization. It is the leading agency working on a global basis to combat child abduction and exploitation. It is the sister organization of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children located in the United States. For more information visit