International Missing Children's Day

IMCD header image 2019

International Missing Children's Day (IMCD), 25 May, is a day where people around the world commemorate the missing children who have found their way home, remember those who have been victims of crime, and continue efforts to find those who are still missing. The symbol for IMCD is the forget-me-not flower.

The observance of May 25 as Missing Children's Day began in the United States in 1983. 25 May marks the anniversary of when six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school on 25 May 1979. Etan's story received national coverage as his father, a photographer, circulated black and white pictures of his missing son to media outlets. Etan's father's efforts to inform the public led to recognition of the need for new initiatives and a commitment to reunite missing children with their families.

In 2001, May 25 was first observed as IMCD through the efforts of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Missing Children Europe, and the European Commission. 25 May is now being commemorated across the world by many different cultures and organisations in the hope children will find their way home.

In Australia approximately 25,000 young people are reported missing to police each year. Most children who are reported missing are found safe and well within 24 hours, but for those who are not, what follows can be months and years of heartbreak and confusion for their families.

Around the world, it is estimated that over one million young people are reported missing every year. To highlight this number the AFP's NMPCC has contributed to an international creative campaign designed to highlight the prevalence of missing children on a global scale. The campaign, going live on the 25 May 2019, will feature emotive messaging highlighting the lost dreams and unrealised milestones of a child's future.

As individuals, professionals and organisations, we have a responsibility to protect our children. Together we can help bring them home.

For further information on global missing children, as well as viewing their profiles, visit the Global Missing Children's Network.

The AFP work with State and Territory Police to profile cases in the hope that the exposure will help solve these cases. See the news and media section for more information on previous and current campaigns.

Marylin Mellon

Marilyn was last seen at Ettalong Beach on 18 May 1994. She resided in the Woy Woy area. Her family was last contacted by Marylin on 20 May 1994 from an Eastern Suburbs...

Missing Person John Farlow

John FARLOW

John Farlow was last seen in Yeppoon Queensland in November 1996. He was known to walk long distances and lived on an old mining lease in Anakie Queensland. John’s residence...

Missing Person Lynette Dawson

Lynette DAWSON

Lynette Dawson, a 33-year-old mother-of-two, was last seen by her husband on 9 January 1982.

While at home with her husband on the evening of Friday 8 January 1982,...

See all profiles