Many of us have felt a little lonely in the past few months as we are forced to stay away from our friends and families during the coronavirus crisis. For many, that feeling of loneliness is constant.
That’s the message the Australian Federal Police are aiming to get across with their campaign to mark International Missing Children’s Day.
“Most people can take comfort knowing that they will eventually be reunited with those they are missing. This is in stark contrast to the families and friends living with a missing child, desperately longing for their reunion day,” The AFP said in a statement.
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The campaign, which taps into the collective loss and grief people around the globe are feeling while living through the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, includes a short video themed ‘#MissingChildrenDeserveAReunionToo’.
It includes the faces of 49 of Australia’s long-term missing children, including NSW toddler William Tyrrell, who disappeared from his grandmother’s home in 2014 while wearing a Spider-Man suit.
AFP Assistant Commissioner Northern Command Lesa Gale said it expresses that the experience of missing friends and family during the COVID-19 pandemic is all-too-familiar for families of missing children.
“It is as important as ever that we mark International Missing Children’s Day in 2020 to honour missing children, offer support to their families, pay tribute to victims of crime and celebrate those children who have found their way home,” Assistant Commissioner Gale said.
“The short video is a powerful reminder that while the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing measures have been challenging for all of us, we know they will soon pass.
“For the loved ones of missing children, there can sometimes be no end to their separation, loneliness and helplessness. The loved ones of long-term missing are forever awaiting their reunion.”
In Australia, approximately three in five missing persons reports relate to a child or young person under the age of 18. Most are found safe and well, but the fear and heartbreak is immense for those whose children do not return home.
Today is International Missing Children's Day💙Covid-19 isolation has increased loneliness around the world but for the families of missing children there is sometimes no end to their separation https://t.co/sLspIMCuxl#NMPCC #IMCD2020#MissingChildrenDeserveAReunionToo pic.twitter.com/uCuLBP5HJJ
— AFP (@AusFedPolice) May 25, 2020