Missing Kids Canada
Friday, October 28th, 2011 by Gary Walkling
IIn 1985, the Canadian Ministry of the Solicitor General of Canada announced a multi-faceted program to help police investigate missing children cases in Canada. One component of the program was the establishment of a Missing Children's Registry which was officially opened by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in August of 1986.
In 1986, at the same time that the Registry was established, Revenue Canada Customs (now known as Canada Customs and Revenue Agency) was developing a national missing children program. Since both Departments often worked together on files, it was determined that it would be beneficial to join forces, so that contacts, resources and ideas could be exchanged on a timely basis thus enhancing the protection of children. In July 1992, Revenue Canada Customs relocated their offices to the RCMP Missing Children's Registry.
In April 1993, Citizenship and Immigration Canada joined the Missing Children's Registry. Later in 1993, this joint forces operation officially became the "our missing children" program and comprised the RCMP's Missing Children's Registry, Revenue Canada's International Project Return and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
November 1996 brought the fourth partner to the "our missing children" program, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The department of Justice became the fifth partner of the program in 2001.
Over the years there have been a number of changes and reorganizations, the Ministry of the Solicitor General of Canada became Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.(PSEPC). Revenue Canada Customs and the majority of Citizenship and Immigration Canada formed the new Canada Border Services Agency and is part of PSEPC. In 2001, the Missing Children's Registry was re-named National Missing Children Services, as well the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has become simply the Department of Foreign Affairs. Since the amalgamation of Customs and Immigration the partners have been reduced to four.
Also, in the late 1990s, this program was recognized both nationally and internationally as a unique combination of differing government services whose aim is to protect our children.
In June 1996, the Canadian Government recognized the program with its Award of Excellence which recognizes the best, most exemplary contributions of the public service resulting from employee suggestions or the meritorious performance of duties.
In May 1999, the International Association of Chiefs of Police recognized the program by giving the Webber Seavey Award for Quality in Law Enforcement to the partners. The award was established to recognize law enforcement's contribution and dedication to the quality of life in local communities. It was also designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and solutions to common law enforcement problems between agencies around the world.
Although each department has their own function, "our missing children" operates as one unit as Canada's National Clearinghouse for missing children. In this capacity, the unit is linked to all Canadian police and related agencies through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), U.S. police agencies through the National Crime Information Centre (NCIC), and most foreign police agencies through Interpol.
Collectively, the partnership that forms "our missing children" provides a unique and powerful force in locating and recovering missing children.
- To provide an investigative assistance service to all Canadian and foreign police agencies who request the assistance of the National Missing Children Services.
- To assist police and searching agencies to locate, recover and return missing children and youth to their proper guardian.
- To conduct research studies related to missing children and youth issues.
- To analyze and report findings gleaned from the Canadian Police Information Centre and National Missing Children Services database on missing children and youth.
- To produce and disseminate information relevant to the missing children and youth issues to police, searching agencies, government, media and the public.
- To research, collect and analyse information and national statistical data on missing children.
- To provide law-enforcement agencies with a source to quickly obtain accurate information on the status of any missing child.
- To monitor the CPIC Missing Persons File to request or provide follow-up information and action on missing children investigations.
- To assist law-enforcement agencies and other interested groups and organizations in obtaining information on missing children.
- To facilitate the correlation of information by publishing documents such as national bulletins on missing children.
- To coordinate and exchange information on prevention programs within the Canadian police community and groups searching for missing children.
- To coordinate the Travel/Reunification Program which provides for the return of children abducted in Canada by a parent, using routes established by sponsoring companies.
- To develop unique expertise in the area of missing children such as developing psychological profiling of paedophile and other socially deviant individuals who may be involved in the abduction/kidnapping of children.
- To promote its networking and collaborative efforts with all countries but especially those belonging to the INTERPOL Network and those which are signatories to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.
- To contribute to international efforts to obtain support for a cooperative, global response to the issues of missing, abused and exploited children.
- To develop specialized training and provide educational resources for police.
- coordinates the investigations of missing children;
- maintains and monitors files on missing children;
- maintains and analyzes national data on the nature and scope of missing children;
- conducts investigative and original research to assist police both nationally and internationally
- acts as an information centre producing and distributing both nationally and internationally, bulletins, reports, newsletters, directories, resource materials and the findings of research studies;
- works closely with the Canadian Border Services Agency in the investigation of missing children cases;
- works closely with Employment and Immigation Canada in the investigation of missing children's cases
- administers Department of Justice, Canada, Travel Program;
- provides a photo aging service to all police and searching agencies who request the service;
- networks and provides resource information to search and recovery agencies, the public and cooperate sectors involved in the search, recovery of missing children and related issues;
- provides a network link for international investigative and information exchange;
- cooperates with searching agencies in the search, recovery and return of the missing child.