National missing persons coordination centre

International Missing Children’s Day: 25 May

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International Missing Children's Day, 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 International Missing Children's Day is the forget-me-not flower.

The main purpose of International Missing Children's Day is to encourage everyone to think about children who remain missing and to spread a message of hope.

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 International Missing Children's Day 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.

The Global Missing Children's Network (GMCN), a network of more than 20 partner agencies co-chaired by ICMEC and the Australian Federal Police, are primary promoters of International Missing Children's Day. The global campaign, Help Bring Them Home, is being led by the Australian Federal Police through the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre in partnership with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

As individuals, professionals and organisations, we do our best to protect our children. Together we can help bring them home.

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Australian Federal Police