International Missing Children’s Day is an awareness event that is observed every year on 25th May. The aims of the day are to place a spotlight on the issue of child abduction, educate parents on safeguarding measures to protect their children and also honour those who have never been found and celebrate those who have.
Missing Children’s Day began as an observance in the USA in 1983. The date was chosen following the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz on 25th May 1979 from New York City. International Missing Children’s Day which observes the same date was launched a number of years later in 2001 and is now observed all over the world.
This awareness event is run in conjunction with the Global Missing Children’s Network. The network, which formed in 1998, has 23 member countries who all connect in order to share information and best practice, working towards improving the effectiveness and success rate of missing children investigations.
On International Missing Children’s day, there is a massive, worldwide social media campaign where participants are encouraged to share images of those who are still missing on all forms of social media as well as celebrating stories of those who have been found.