Interesting Facts About National Missing Children’s Day: Raising Awareness Of The Threat Of Child Abduction

National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated in the United States on May 25th. It falls on the same day as the International Missing Children’s Day, which was established in 2001.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) commemorates Missing Children’s Day with a ceremony honoring the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children.
On May 25, 1979, Etan Patz was only six years old when he disappeared from his New York City home on his way from bus to school. The date of Etan’s disappearance was designated as National Missing Children’s Day.
At the time, cases of missing children rarely garnered national media attention, but Etan’s case quickly received extensive coverage. His father, a professional photographer, distributed black-and-white photographs of Etan in an effort to find him.
The resulting massive search and media attention that followed focused the public’s attention on the problem of child abduction and the lack of plans to address it.
For almost three years, media attention was focused on Atlanta, Georgia, where the bodies of young children were discovered in lakes, marshes, and ponds along roadside trails. Twenty-nine bodies were recovered in the Atlanta murders of 1979–1981 before a suspect was arrested and convicted.
Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to encouraging parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. It serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families and an occasion to honor those dedicated to this noble cause.
Check out these interesting facts about National Missing Children’s Day:
1. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children annually holds events on and around National Missing Children’s Day to raise awareness of the threat of child abduction, inform families about ways to keep their children safe and support victims’ families.
2. Approximately 800,000 kids are reported missing each year in the country, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
3. More than a decade after National Missing Children’s Day was designated by Reagan, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) and the U.S.’s National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) launched a joint venture in 1998 to mark May 25 as the International Missing Children’s Day.
The 23 member countries participating in the venture along with the U.S. are Albania, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
4. Each year, the U.S. Department of Justice, through OJJDP, recognizes individuals, organizations, and agencies that have made a difference in recovering missing and abducted children and protecting children from exploitation.
The Department recognizes the awardees each May at the annual National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in Washington, DC. The deadline for 2017 nominations was January 20, 2017.

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