The objective of the month is to raise awareness surrounding missing and exploited children, as well as informing parents and educators on what they can do in order to better protect their children.
The Missing Children’s Network said in a statement, “During the entire month of May, the Missing Children’s Network will feature on its social media platforms heartfelt messages of hope by searching families, practical safety tips, inspiring interviews with key partners, long-term missing children cases and publish its annual poster featuring 12 unresolved missing children cases. As well, the organization will launch, Forget-Me-Not, an important awareness campaign aimed at ensuring that missing children are never forgotten.
According to a 2020 report from the RCMP, Quebec had 3,831 cases of missing children. A decrease from 2019’s total of 5,805.
According to the report, 60 per cent of all cases involved females, while 72 per cent were runaway.
The report also stated 92 per cent of the missing children were located within a week, with 63 per cent being found within 24 hours.
The Missing Children’s Network adds time is of the essence when a child disappears, no matter the situation, saying: “When youth run away, their risk of being victimized greatly increases. The dangers may include sexual assault, violence, theft, substance abuse, homelessness, suicide and gang involvement.
“While most parental child abductions are resolved, they remain traumatic events that can have lifelong effects on the children involved and the left-behind parent. The abduction of a child by a stranger is rare, but is of little comfort to parents and the community. We must remain aware that such dangers are a constant reality.”