Eight Countries Unite to Raise Awareness and to Send a Message of Hope

National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated in the United States every May 25th since 1983. In recognition of the fact that the issue of missing children is complex, multifaceted, and global, in recent years other countries have begun observing May 25th as a national day for missing children as well. This has led to what has come to be known as International Missing Children’s Day, a special day set aside to encourage the public to think about and remember all the children who have gone missing around the world.

This year, for the first time ever, eight countries from four continents are joining with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) to mark International Missing Children’s Day by raising awareness of the issue of missing children and spreading a message of hope and solidarity to parents, family members, and loved ones of missing children. These eight countries – Australia, Brazil, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, and the United Kingdom – are all members of ICMEC’s Global Missing Children’s Network, a resource comprised of a central, Internet-based multilingual database featuring information about and photographs of missing children from around the world.

Each of the eight participating countries is commemorating International Missing Children’s Day with national events, including showing a jointly-developed public service announcement and profiling cases of missing children from around the world on balloons in the hopes the children will be recognized and brought home. A similar balloon launch in South Africa in 2007 resulted in the recovery of a missing child.

“It is wonderful to see different countries coming together with ICMEC to build a global movement to help protect those who are the most vulnerable,” stated Nancy Dube, ICMEC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “Today is a reaffirmation of the commitment each of these countries has made to keeping children safer and to reuniting missing children with their loved ones. Together, we will find them.”

Participating countries will be displaying and / or releasing balloons displaying missing children photo and details on May 25th in their respective country. An awareness video was produced with the assistance of Australian Federal Police. To view the video please visit our YouTube Channel “Don’t You Forget About Me”.

Caroline Humer

Program Manager


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