Minister Yelich Reconfirms Canada’s Commitment to Children in Advance of National Missing Children’s Day

May 23, 2014

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today recognized National Missing Children’s Day, observed every year on May 25, by reconfirming the Government of Canada’s commitment to addressing consular issues that affect Canadian children.

“Cases involving children are complex and often come with no easy solution,” said Minister Yelich. “Sadly, the number of children’s cases, including those involving abduction, is increasing at an alarming rate. To address this trend, our government is placing a priority on children through our approach to consular services so we can better equip ourselves to prevent and assist in cases affecting Canada’s most vulnerable.”

In November 2013, Minister Yelich launched the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada. Through an increased number of specialized case officers and dedicated policy advisers who focus solely on children’s issues, Canada hopes to resolve more cases, more quickly. The Government of Canada has created A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents so parents can have step-by-step instructions on what to do to prevent an international abduction and on what actions to take once an abduction has occurred.

Canada is also strengthening cooperation with its partners. On May 13, Minister Yelich recognized UNICEF for its work in advocating for greater protection for abducted children and promoting the Hague conventions on children, including the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

May 13, 2014 - Toronto, Ontario - Minister Yelich presents a ministerial citation to UNICEF; David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada, accepts on behalf of the global organization.

“Operating in more than 190 countries, UNICEF works to address the illicit abduction of children and to strengthen family law institutions across the world, which has been instrumental to our shared efforts,” said Minister Yelich. “We look forward to continuing our work with UNICEF to improve international measures dealing with missing and abducted children.”

“We would like to thank Minister Yelich and the Government of Canada for this recognition,” said David Morley, UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO. “Ensuring children are well protected from abduction and can cross borders safely and rely on effective child protection systems to support them is a key priority for UNICEF in Canada and around the world.”

For more information, visit Travelling with Children.