November 20, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), today marked Universal Children’s Day by presenting the Our Missing Children Award of Excellence to the Missing Children’s Network.
The Our Missing Children Award of Excellence is presented to an individual or group that has demonstrated dedication and sustained excellence in their work with others to bring home missing children. The award is sponsored by the four Government of Canada partners in the Our Missing Children program: the Canada Border Services Agency, the Department of Justice Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“Our government is committed to protecting our children and to safeguarding the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens,” said Minister Ablonczy. “I am pleased and honoured today to be presenting this award to the Missing Children’s Network for the work it has done to strengthen the circle of support for children, to help parents search for missing children and to educate the public about child disappearances.”
Founded in 1985, the Missing Children’s Network is a not-for-profit organization with a stellar reputation acquired through its unyielding fight against child abduction and acts of violence toward children, its relentless search for missing children and its work on abduction prevention. Each year, the team at the Missing Children’s Network / Enfant-Retour Québec responds to over 1,600 prevention calls.
“We are honoured to receive this recognition, and we dedicate it to all the courageous families we have assisted since 1985,” said Pina Arcamone, Director General of the Missing Children’s Network. “We also wish to share this recognition with our dedicated partners, without whom we would not be able to continue our important mission.”
Minister Ablonczy also took the opportunity to launch a new guidebook for parents left behind in international parental child abductions.
The guidebook helps left-behind parents understand the processes and issues involved in searching for and trying to bring back children abducted to another country. It provides suggestions on how to stop an abduction in progress and how to find an abducted child in another country. It also outlines strategies for bringing a child back to Canada. The publication also includes a directory of resources and organizations, as well as checklists to help parents keep track of the various documents and actions required.
“By offering parents in distress a comprehensive, step-by-step source of information, we are giving them the tools they need to respond effectively during an incredibly stressful and challenging time,” said Minister Ablonczy. “This guidebook will be a key resource in helping prevent child abductions and in reacting effectively when they occur.”
International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents, along with information on other aspects of foreign travel, may be found at Travel.gc.ca.
For more information, please visit the Missing Children’s Network.
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For further information, media representatives may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)
Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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