Every year 250,000 children are reported missing in the European Union alone. This works out at almost one child every two minutes. What has happened to these children and where have they gone? Some children run away or are lost, others are abducted by a parent, perhaps following a divorce or separation. Unaccompanied migrant children can go missing, and in addition there are some criminal abductions.
International Missing Children’s Day is marked annually on 25 May to remember all those who have gone missing and those that have been found. The main aim is to encourage people to be aware of missing children and to spread a message of hope to parents still waiting for news. Today, thousands of organisations, communities and people around the world will join together in solidarity for missing children.
Oak Foundation supports three major organisations dedicated to bringing these children back together with their families. Missing Children Switzerland (MSC), Missing People in the UK and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the US provide vital ongoing support to families while helping to search for their loved ones.
This year for International Missing Children’s day, MSC launched a video which aims to spread awareness around the support it offers to families with missing children. MCS will also launch a campaign to educate volunteer advisers who will help the work of the foundation.
Missing People (@missingpeople) has released a charity single called ‘I Hope’ aiming to reach the number one spot on the music charts today and consequently reach more of the thousands of children currently missing around the world. The release of the single has been timed to coincide with the Big Tweet for Missing Children which sees Missing People tweet an appeal for a missing child every 30 minutes for 24 hours. Now in its fifth year, the tweetathon has had tangible results – 19 of the children featured in last year’s appeals have since been found, for example.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have also marked the day. You can help these organisations by downloading and sharing their communications, and by spreading the word about their work.