About the Author: Michele Bond serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Overseas Citizen Services in the Bureau of Consular Affairs.National Missing Children's Day has been commemorated on May 25 since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. It is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school. He is still missing.
On this day, the Office of Children's Issues at the State Department would like to call attention to the thousands of children who are abducted internationally by a parent or family member each year. Last year alone, parents abducted more than 2,000 children to and from the United States. Many of these children remain missing.
The Office of Children's Issues assists parents and family members in cases of international parental child abduction. We serve as the U.S. Central Authority for the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. Our efforts are complemented by the important day-to-day work of U.S. embassies and consulates working tirelessly to respond to this important issue.
For more information about international parental child abduction, please visit www.travel.state.gov/childabduction.