Thursday, May 25, 2017

Education : International Missing Children's Day : resources

International Centre For Missing & Exploited Children

"Remembering children who have gone missing, and those who have been found."

Every year, 25 May is commemorated as International Missing Children’s Day.  

In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th National Missing Children’s Day.

Etan Patz
credits: Hodgson/ The New York Times
The proclamation followed the 1979 disappearance of a six-year-old boy, Etan Patz, on his way to school in New York City. The case generated widespread indignation, and concern for missing children rose across the nation. Since the United States began remembering missing children in this way, other countries around the world have adopted similar commemorations.

25 May is now widely known as Missing Children’s Day, with the forget-me-not flower as its emblem. 

The forget-me-not flower is the symbol of International Missing Children's Day.
In 2001, 25 May was first formally recognized as International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD), thanks to a joint effort on the part of ICMEC, Missing Children Europe and the European Commission.

250,000 children are reported missing every year in the EU, 1 child every 2 minutes.
A child is reported missing every 2 minutes in Europe. Our network of missing children hotlines is operated by local grassroots organisations in 31 countries in Europe. 
Children and families calling the 116 000 European hotline for missing children receive free and immediate emotional, psychological, social, legal and administrative support.

Missing Children Europe in 2016 focused on developing a project to monitor and improve the quality of services provided by 19 hotlines across Europe. 
"Achieving this quality criteria will ensure that children and families anywhere in Europe will have access to the same quality of support when faced with the unthinkable."
Children’s day commemorated on May 25 across the globe, Missing Children Europe has launched its new Figure and Trends on missing children report for 2016.

Annual Revue 2016/ Report

"Missing Children Europe's Annual Review describes the vision, efforts, our grassroots member organisations and the impact of the organisation for the past year. It provides a good summary of the work, successes and challenges from 2016."

The report features the evolution and trends on missing children cases in Europe handled by hotlines for missing children and the Cross-Border Family Mediators’ network. Hotlines for missing children are available through the same phone number - 116 000 - in 31 countries in Europe.  

Since 2015, this network of hotlines has helped an increasing number of children. In 2016, there was a 12% increase in children calling the hotlines compared to the previous year.

While 116 000 hotlines seem to have received fewer calls in 2016, these hotlines saw a doubling of contacts received through channels such as text message, email and chat.

In 2016, children running away or thrown out of home made up 57% of missing children cases reported to hotlines, consistently making the largest group of missing children. Parental abductions made up the second largest group at 23% of cases.

Consistent with reports that up to 50% of migrant children go missing from some reception centres in Europe within 48 hours, cases of missing migrant children saw an increase from 2% in 2015 to 7% in 2016. However, underreporting of these disappearances and a lack of clarity on roles and responsibilities regarding the prevention and response to this very vulnerable group remains a worrying issue. Criminal abductions made up less than 1% of cases reported in 2016 while lost, injured or otherwise missing children cases made up 13% of cases.


1 in 5 missing children cases were cross-border in nature showing the importance of cross-border cooperation between national governments, hotlines, law enforcement and other child protection authorities.

In 2016, 42% of missing children reported to the 116 000 hotline were found within the year, down from 46% in 2015. While more children have been found in the other four categories of missing children cases, there has been a significant drop in the number of runaways that were found (from 57% in 2015 to 46% in 2016). 

This unveils a vulnerable, often trivialised group of children whose problems at home or reasons for running away have persisted even after the first running away incident. Children running away repeatedly are forced to use increasingly risky strategies to survive, such as sleeping rough or begging and are exposed to huge risks of sexual exploitation.

Hotlines in several countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Spain) received no funding at all from national governments in 2016. In 2016, 15 hotlines received an action grant from the European Commission which started mid-2016 and will last up to 24 months.

The network of Cross-Border Family Mediators consists of 157 trained mediators from 37 countries, and is coordinated by Missing Children Europe. These trained mediators specialise in preventing and resolving family conflict including parental abductions. Compared to court proceedings, mediation is up to 60% cheaper and takes an average of 43 days to be resolved compared to 18 months when taken to court. However, too few cases seek mediation as a solution.~

Remumber/ app

Resources for parents & educators

  • App Remumber
More and more kids have smartphones. So this generation doesn’t remember phone numbers by heart anymore. 
But what if they lose their phone, or their battery dies? What if there’s a situation where your kid needs to contact you but doesn’t know your phone number?

Remumber is an app aimed at young children with smartphones. It helps children remember the phone number of their parents by changing their device security codes to a phone number. That way each time your child unlocks his/her smartphone, they practice dialing your phone number. 

Remumber changes the unlocking code of a mobile or tablet device into a phone number.

So every time your child unlocks the device, he or she practises your phone number until they know it by heart. 

Remumber, app/ Missing Children Europe
Winner Epica Awards 2016

Download the app:

Missing Children Europe received great feedback from users and was proposed different free media opportunities to communicate about the campaign during summer. But most of all, with hundreds of downloads in the first week, we helped a lot of children to remember their parents’ phone numbers in a couple of days. 

The Beginner's Guide 
to Running Away
from Home
Jennifer Larue Huget
  • Books:
What kid hasn’t wanted to make their parents feel sorry for treating him badly?
And how better to accomplish this than to run away? 

Here’s a guide showing how, from what to pack (gum–then you won’t have to brush your teeth) to how to survive (don’t think about your cozy bed). 

Ultimately, though, readers will see that there really is no place like home. 

Alexander and the Terrible,
Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Judith Viorst

Like Judith Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible No Good, Very Bad Day, here’s a spot-on portrait of a kid who’s had it. 

Where the Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak

And like Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, it’s also a journey inside a creative kid’s imagination: that special place where parents aren’t allowed without permission.

Education :

Myosotis is commonly called "Forget-me-not". And we can not forget every missing child.

As an educator, I can't ! I talk about it with my students helping them to understand the danger they face every day. 

In the classroom, we discuss the theme around some exemples of missing children and young people. 

They understand the difficulties they can face on the street on their way to school, or to home. And on 
the bad use of the Internet or social networks.

I invite them to talk with their parents, grandparents or to help their younger brothers or sisters.

I can't forget missing children in Europe and all over the world. Children are our future and they believe in us and a better world.


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