It is estimated that at least 8 million children worldwide go missing each year, including 800,000 in the U.S.; 230,000 in the U.K.; 100,000 in Germany; 50,000 in Canada; 45,000 in Mexico; 40,000 in Brazil and 39,000 in France. In most of the developing world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America, there is no count for missing children.
A multilingual database that features photographs and information about missing children from around the world was established in 1998 by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). Twenty two countries participate in this Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN).
Eighteen countries have child abduction alerts: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, the U.K. and the US. All 50 of the United States have AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert plans in place and across Europe a single missing child telephone number, 116 000, is being implemented. In most African, Asian and Latin American countries, there are no specific laws regarding missing children, no established protocol for reporting, and no central missing child registries.
In the US, half of the missing children cases reported each year are runaways. One quarter of missing children cases are abductions committed by family members, often as a result of custody disputes. Of children abducted by parents, 53% of the time fathers are responsible while 25% of the time mothers are responsible. The remainder of these children are abducted by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members. Approximately 46% are returned within a week and 21% within a month.
In the US only one-hundredth of 1% of all missing children, or approximately 100, are kidnappings by strangers and 90% of the kidnappers are men. In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within a quarter mile of the child’s home. Most potential abductors grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their vehicles.
Most of these 100 victims are between 12 and 17, 80% are white and 74% are girls. In more than half the cases the victims are sexually assaulted and 20% are not found alive. Acting quickly is critical. Seventy-four percent of abducted children who are ultimately murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) serves as the US clearinghouse and resource center for information about missing and exploited children. Contact them at MissingKids.org.
This book has 14 pages, 8.75” x 9.5” x 1.25”, each with a 1.75” etched copper square image of a child. The post bound cover of moss green silk has a collaged image within a lead wrapped wood frame.