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International Missing Children’s Day 2022

Today, May 25 is International Missing Children’s Day. It’s a day to honour missing and abducted children while also celebrating those who have been recovered.  A missing child is a parent’s worst nightmare. I’ve experienced the sheer panic when you lose sight of your child for a moment, and I’ve seen that look on a parent’s face. However, I cannot imagine the agony should that moment turn into hours, or days or more.

When I first met with The Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) in 2016, I was dismayed to hear about the sheer number of missing and vulnerable children we have in Canada.  Every year, over 40,000 children go missing. Yes, that’s not a typo… OVER 40,000!  And when a child goes missing from a safe environment, the danger of exposure to high-risk activities such as substance misuse, sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even the risk of death, increases.

Shortly after our initial meeting in 2016, we formed a partnership with MCSC to support the digital transformation of their organization, and I am so very proud of what we have achieved over the years. We’ve streamlined their workflows. We gave them tools and a mobile app that police can use to spread awareness across jurisdictional boundaries at the local, provincial, country, and even cross-border levels. I can go on and on about the technology and how it’s used, but it’s the operational impact… it’s the result that matters most. Together, we are working towards making sure that no missing child goes unseen, and we are helping to bring them home.

Six boxes with the map of Canada. Each map highlights a different region of Canada in red representing the open and active missing children cases in that region. A seventh box with a red pin has the text “Leave a Tip” below it.

You can view open and active cases of missing children through the regional story maps in MCSC rescu

So, today… please take a few moments to honour those children who have gone missing and celebrate those who have been recovered.  I also urge you to join the thousands of Canadians who have installed and registered for location-based notifications via the MCSC rescu mobile app.

Download MCSC rescu now

For additional information, here are some useful links:
Missing Children Society of Canada 
Geographical Thinking Podcast: Child Search Network: Help police find missing children in Canada faster

Related Blogs: 
Mapping Canada’s Missing Children
GIS for good: Helping find missing children faster
Child Search Network: Help police find missing children in Canada faster

This post was translated to French and can be viewed here.

About the Author

David Hamilton is the Public Safety Industry Manager for Esri Canada. His efforts are focused on advising customers how to use GIS technology to improve all areas of public safety, specifically (NG)9-1-1, law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, emergency management, and search and rescue. Prior to joining Esri Canada in 2010, David managed the GIS for E-Comm 9-1-1 in Vancouver, and worked for the RCMP at the Integrated Security Unit for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games where he managed their Common Operating Picture. Being active has been a major part of David’s personal life; soccer, track & field, skiing, cycling, hiking and now kayaking are all among his favourite activities.

Profile Photo of David Hamilton