May 20, 0215
International Missing Children’s Day has been launched with the intention of helping to bring home abducted and missing children.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner Andrew Colvin have launched an International Missing Children’s Day campaign in Sydney today.
With the simple slogan ‘Help bring them home’, the focus of the launch held at Fairground Follies in St Peters was on children abducted by a parent.
Michael Watter’s twin daughters were taken by their mother just after he dropped them at school last year.
“Hearing the laughter of other children makes my throat tighten and my eyes sting.”
Thirteen-year-old Laura Veasey and her 11-year-old brother Harrison were also taken by their mother in 2013.
David Veasey said parental abduction should be treated as abuse.
“Because the children are with one of the parents it’s not looked as a crime,” Mr Veasey said.
“But, it certainly has the same consequences as if your children were abducted by some other unknown party.”
Harry Speath fears his ex-wife may have taken his son and daughter Serena and Thomas overseas.
“To some extent if feels like they’ve died but there’s no bodies to bury,” Mr Speath said.
The abductions highlighted today are just a fraction of the 400 cases the AFP deals with every year.
International Missing Children’s Day is on May 25 when people gather worldwide to commemorate the missing children who have returned home, remember victims of crime and continue to find those still missing.
The main purpose of the commemoration is to encourage everyone to spread the message of hope for those children still missing.
Two young people under the age of 18 are reported missing every hour in Australia.
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