The International Missing Children's Day on 25 May invites us to reflect on a phenomenon made even more complex by the current crisis in Ukraine, highlighting the need to immediately report the disappearance of children.
The institutional event organised by Telefono Azzurro will be held on 25 May in Rome and will be attended by institutional representatives, university professors, experts and representatives of associations and other organisations. The aim is to encourage an open discussion on the phenomenon, but also to suggest common solutions together with national and international bodies in order to adopt increasingly appropriate measures to tackle such serious and urgent problems. "The issue of missing children in emergency situations," states the Telefono Azzurro website, "will be the main focus of this day, especially in light of the crisis that Ukraine has been undergoing in recent months. This has particularly deepened the conditions of uncertainty and insecurity in which children and adolescents affected by this crisis find themselves. In war contexts in particular, crossing borders can worsen the situation of the most vulnerable groups, such as children, in an even greater way, subjecting them to serious short- and long-term consequences such as the risks of trafficking and exploitation."
The event is divided into two sessions. The opening, the introduction to the proceedings and the first session (in Italian) will take place from 9:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. in the Sala Capitolare at the Cloister of the Convent of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (Piazza della Minerva 38). The morning study will focus on the disappearance of children and adolescents and its consequences, especially in war contexts, with a focus on the Ukrainian emergency and trafficked children. Speakers will include: Ernesto Caffo, President of Telefono Azzurro; Elena Bonetti, Minister for Equal Opportunities and the Family; Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Antonino Bella, Special Government Commissioner for Missing Persons.
The second session (in English) - scheduled from 3:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. in the Amphitheatre Hall of Villa Aurelia (via Leone XIII 459) - will focus on other aspects, including: the danger of trafficking and missing children at the borders; solutions and proposals for joint and transnational law enforcement actions; the role of the 116,000 Europe-wide single number for missing children; and border monitoring and management of arrivals at European and Italian level. The full programme of the event, entitled Sui Bambini Non Si Tratta. An invisible disappearance that makes noise is available on the Telefono Azzurro website, in the dedicated news item.
On the Day, we would like to draw attention to the advertising campaign developed by the Department for Family Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in collaboration with the Office of the Government's Extraordinary Commissioner for Missing Persons and with the technical support of the Istituto degli Innocenti. Launched on the RAI channels on 21 May, the campaign included a television ad describing the sense of emptiness that is created in the family and social fabric when a child goes missing, explaining how to take action and the numbers to contact, emphasising the importance of early notification of the disappearance to the competent authorities. The ad's tagline – available on the website of the Department for Family Policies, on the dedicated page - is Help us find them.
Also, worth mentioning are the news, documents and in-depth studies on the subject published on the pages of the Ministry of the Interior's website dedicated to the Government's Extraordinary Commissioner for Missing Persons. The campaign ad is also available on these pages, in the dedicated news item.
Other materials and news can be found on this site under the topic Missing children, which can be reached from the "Topics" navigation menu.