Release Date: Wednesday, May 20 2015, 12:16 PM
Minister for Justice the Hon. Michael Keenan and AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin encouraged Australians to continue their efforts to locate those still missing at the launch of International Missing Children’s Day 2015 today.
The day will be recognised globally on Monday 25 May, with this year’s focus being on the safe location and recovery of children who have been abducted by a parent.
Commissioner Colvin said the location and recovery of missing children, including those taken by a parent, is often a collaborative law enforcement and community effort.
“The AFP has now listed children who have been abducted by a parent in a dedicated ‘Family Court’ tab on our missingpersons.gov.au website. I strongly encourage everyone to visit the page and provide information anonymously to Crime Stoppers if you are aware of a child’s location”
International Missing Children’s Day commemorates missing children who have found their way home, remember those who have been victims of crime, and continue efforts to find those who are unfortunately still missing.
“The AFP Facebook page will be encouraging the community to replace their profile picture with a ‘Help bring them home’ white balloon to raise awareness of missing children on the day. I encourage the community to support this and release a balloon of a missing child at www.helpbringthemhome.org.au,” said Commissioner Colvin.
The AFP receives around 400 recovery orders from the Family Court of Australia each year. On average, 142 new Hague Convention applications are recorded by the Attorney-General’s Department, of which around half relate to children taken out of the country.
“The issue of parental abductions is a sensitive one, and one that causes great emotional and psychological strain,” Commissioner Colvin said.
“I congratulate all those involved—police, government agencies and non-for-profit organisations—for their tireless efforts in trying to locate all missing children around Australia and to help bring them home to their families. The AFP is committed to working with all our national and international partner agencies to ensure the safety of all Australian children.”
For further information on missing children and to spread a message of hope, visit www.helpbringthemhome.org.au and release a virtual balloon of a missing child.
Anyone with information relating to a missing child is urged to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
AFP National Media (02) 6131 6333