International Missing Children’s Day: For a moment, whole world knew how it felt to miss someone

The Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC) is marking International Missing Children’s Day (IMCD) 2020 with a creative campaign that taps into the collective loss and grief people around the globe are feeling while living through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign includes a short video themed ‘#MissingChildrenDeserveAReunionToo’.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge changes to everyday life. It has forced many to live in isolation awaiting their reunion with the people, places and things they hold dear.

Most people can take comfort knowing that they will eventually be reunited with those they are missing. This is in stark contrast to the families and friends living with a missing child, desperately longing for their reunion day.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale said the IMCD short video expresses that the experience of missing friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic is all-too-familiar for families of missing children.

“It is as important as ever that we mark International Missing Children’s Day in 2020 to honour missing children, offer support to their families, pay tribute to victims of crime and celebrate those children who have found their way home,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said.

“The short video is a powerful reminder that while the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing measures have been challenging for all of us, we know they will soon pass.

“For the loved ones of missing children, there can sometimes be no end to their separation, loneliness and helplessness. The loved ones of long-term missing are forever awaiting their reunion.”

The video was produced while adhering to extreme social distancing restrictions using a compilation of user-generated content and quarantine photography to carefully depict authentic human emotion felt by many during this testing time.

In addition to the short video – which can be viewed here – the AFP’s NMPCC has developed a digital campaign to spread awareness of IMCD 2020, the need to remember missing children and continue seeking their safe return. The campaign features the faces of 49 of Australia’s long-term missing children.

In Australia, approximately three in five missing persons reports relate to a child or young person under the age of 18. Most are found safe and well, but the fear and heartbreak is immense for those whose children do not return home.

Importantly, there are steps everyone can follow to raise awareness of the issue of missing children and assist police with their investigations. You can:

For more on the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre, visit the website www.missingpersons.gov.au.

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