In many countries, 25 May has been recognised as a national day for missing children since the 1980s following the disappearance of Etan Patz from a New York corner on his way to school on 25 May 1979. since then, the day has grown internationally where people around the world commemorate the missing children who have found their way home, remember those who have been victims of crime, and continue efforts to find those who are still missing.
The main purpose of International Missing Children's Day is to encourage everyone to think about children who remain missing and to spread a message of hope by releasing a balloon.
Member countries of the Global Missing Children's Network have joined to raise awareness of the impact and issue surrounding missing children and to help bring them home by spreading a global message. The Global Missing Children's Network is a program run by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children in the United States of America.
The global campaign, Help bring them home, is being lead by the Australian Federal Police and the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre in partnership with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children.