CBSA recognizes the 25th anniversary of National Missing Children's Day
May 25, 2022
Niagara Falls, Ontario – Today the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Member of Parliament for Niagara Falls, joined the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) in marking the 25th anniversary of National Missing Children's Day. As a partner in the Our Missing Children program, the CBSA has recovered 1,650 missing children nationally. In the Southern Ontario Region, border services officers assisted with the recoveries of over 100 children, including eight recoveries in 2010 and three to date in 2011.

"Our government is committed to working with its partners to keep our nation's children – our most valuable treasures – safe and free from harm," said Minister Nicholson. "The tragedy of a missing child has a devastating impact on families and on communities. By working collaboratively, we can continue the success of Our Missing Children program as it works to prevent child abductions, both domestically and internationally, and to find missing children."

The CBSA is one of four Government of Canada agencies, along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and the Department of Justice Canada, that partner together to help return missing, abducted and smuggled children to their families through the Our Missing Children program.

While each organization has its own function, the program operates as a single unit assisting law enforcement agencies across Canada and around the world in locating and recovering missing and abducted children. To fulfill the CBSA's role, border services officers are on the alert for abducted children and runaways at all points of entry into the country.

One of the CBSA cases within the last year involved two 17-year-old girls from Georgia who, accompanied by two males wanted for criminality, attempted to enter Canada. CBSA officers discovered that the girls had both been reported missing, possessed no identification and were travelling in a stolen vehicle. Officers gave both girls the opportunity to contact their parents and they were later returned to the United States to be reunited with their families.

Another case involves a young girl who attempted to enter Canada by foot. CBSA officers discovered that she was a missing person in Niagara Falls, New York, and she was returned to the United States to be reunited with her family. Another young girl attempted to enter the United States with a 19-year-old male. They were both returned to Canada and, after a thorough investigation by CBSA officers, it was discovered that the male had attempted to abduct the girl. The girl was reunited with her father and border services officers arrested the male for abduction.

To help avoid delays at international borders when travelling with children, always:

• Have their identification ready to show officers when you arrive at the booth and a letter of permission for a child who is travelling without their parents or guardian.
• Carry identification such as a birth certificate, baptismal certificate, passport, or immigration document.
• Bring copies of legal documents, if parents share custody.
• Ensure you are travelling in the same vehicle as your children when you arrive at the border, if travelling with a group of vehicles.

Any individual with information about missing children can call 1-877-318-3576 toll-free or visit the Our Missing Children Web site.

Additional Information on National Missing Children's Day and the Our Missing Children program:

• National Missing Children's Day draws attention to the thousands of Canadian children who go missing each year.
• In 1986, the Solicitor General of Canada decreed May 25th as National Missing Children's Day, with this year marking its 25th anniversary.
• The Our Missing Children program began as the Missing Children's Registry in 1985 when the Solicitor General of Canada launched a major campaign to deal with the problem of missing children.
• The CBSA, then known as Revenue Canada Customs and Citizenship and Immigration Canada, joined in 1986 and 1993 respectively. At that time, the program was renamed Our Missing Children.
• In 1996, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada followed suit and the Department of Justice Canada in 2001.
• Collectively, the partnerships that form Our Missing Children provide a unique and powerful force in locating and recovering missing children.

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