International Missing Children’s Day 25th May 2023

26 May 2023

Lift the Children is participating in the commemoration of International Missing Children’s Day  on May 25th, 2023. This day honours the memories of missing children, raises awareness of the issues surrounding child abduction, and focuses on the prevention of child abduction and the recovery of missing children. To help promote awareness on the issue of missing children, Lift the Children has been training directors of children’s institutions on their responsibilities in regards to the reporting of missing children and ensuring that all children entering the institutions are properly documented.

Join us in understanding and circulating the following information about missing children in Kenya.

Who is a missing child?

A missing child is any person under 18 years, whose whereabouts is not known to the parents, legal guardian, or any other person or institution legally entrusted with the custody of the child, whatever may be the circumstances or causes of disappearance.

Categories of missing children

  • Escape at Risk – absent from home without parents’ permission or legal guardian’s permission
  • Family abduction or abduction – retention and concealment of children by one of their parents or another family member, to the detriment of custody rights including rights of another parent
  • Non-family abduction – retention, and concealment of children by a person not belonging to their family
  • Lost, injured, or missing – there is not enough evidence to determine the cause of the child’s disappearance
  • Abandoned or unaccompanied – not accompanied by a legally responsible adult, including children traveling alone without guardianship permissions, children separated in emergency situations, or children in refugee situations.

The search for a missing child under any circumstance should be responded to as a matter of urgency.

The longer a child is missing, the more vulnerable he/she becomes and there is a greater risk of victimization through violent or criminal activities some of which are:

  • Sexual exploitation
  • Trafficking in persons
  • Illegal/unsafe work
  • Participation in criminal activities as victims or offenders
  • Deterioration of physical and emotional health
  • The risk of physical and sexual assault and in certain circumstances even death

Investigations of children reported missing must be immediate.

Information needed when reporting a missing child in Kenya:

  • Child’s photo when he/she came to the institution (photo should be taken prior to changing clothing, showering, or making any change in appearance)
  • Full name of the child including the nickname
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Date and time when the child was found
  • Where the child was found
  • What the child was wearing and the style of the hair
  • Any unique features / scars/  birthmarks…..example a burn scar on the neck
  • Medical conditions that require medical attention….example is asthma, epilepsy etc
  • Any physical disability… for example paralyzed arms
  • Any development challenges/special needs
  • School that a child last attended
  • Names of the parents/guardian
  • County of occurrence, sub-county of occurrence, location,village
  • Police report including the name of the police station and the OB number
  • Name of the hosting CCI and the contact person

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