International Missing Children’s Day 2018

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On Friday 25 May we will honour International Missing Children’s Day. This is a time to remember children who are missing and support loved ones in their search.

The day highlights the continued efforts of police, family, friends and the wider community to find missing children, and pays tribute to children who have been victims of crime. It is also a celebration of missing children who have found their way home.

And this year is special. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) is hosting the very first ‘Missing Youth Forum: educate, support, prevent’ to coincide with International Missing Children’s Day.

The forum will see 30 year six students from local Canberra schools attend the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) to collaborate and learn about the issue. They will leave as future ambassadors for the cause of missing youth.

The forum agenda will address education around physical and cyber safety, emotional intelligence, mental health, access to support services. And will feature sessions facilitated by the Kids Helpline, Headspace, ThinkUKnow and Sasoon Simonian whose brother, Sevak, has been missing since 2014.

The forum will empower the kids to go back to their respective primary schools, familiar with services they can utilise and options available to them. This is vital as they approach their teenage years, where unfortunately they become statistically higher risk of going missing.

Recent research conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) indicates that:

  • 38,000 missing persons reports are made to Australian police each year. Three in five of those reports related to a young person under the age of 18, with 86% located within a week.
  • Those likely to go missing, with a rate six times higher than the general population, are youth aged between the ages of 13 and 17.

For further information on missing persons and to share the International Missing Children’s Day message with your networks, visit ‘The National Missing Persons Coordination’ Facebook page. Profiles can also be viewed at missingpersons.gov.au.

The AFP works with state and territory police to profile missing persons, and the Family Law Courts to publicise and recover parentally abducted children.

Anyone with information relating to a missing or parentally abducted child is urged to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00

Media enquiries:
AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333

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(link: https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases) when new media releases are published.

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Elsie Grace TONINI

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