National Missing Children’s Day has been commemorated on May 25 since 1983, when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. On this day the Department of State calls attention to the thousands of children who are abducted internationally by a parent or family member each year. Last year alone parents abducted more than 2,000 children to and from the United States. Many of these children remain missing.
The United States places the highest priority on the welfare of children and their families who have been victimized by international parental child abduction. We support international efforts to raise awareness about child abduction and encourage continued efforts to prevent and respond to this tragedy. We also applaud the many governmental and private organizations that work tirelessly to recover abducted children and return them home.
The Office of Children’s Issues in the State Department assists parents and family members in cases of international parental child abduction. We serve as the U.S. Central Authority for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. The Convention establishes a legal framework between the United States and its 68 partner countries for recovering children wrongfully removed from their habitual residence and retained in another country.
More information on the Office of Children’s Issues at the State Department is available at: www.travel.state.gov/childabduction