Fort Erie, Ontario, May 25, 2012 - In 2011, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers in the Southern Ontario Region recovered five missing children. Today, on National Missing Children's Day, the CBSA takes the opportunity to remind everyone that border services officers are always on the alert for abducted children and runaways at all points of entry into the country.
Helping to return missing, abducted and smuggled children to their homes is a collaborative effort of four Government of Canada organizations partnering together. The Our Missing Childrenprogram is managed jointly by the CBSA, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and the Department of Justice.
While each organization has its own function, the program operates as a single unit assisting law enforcement agencies across Canada and around the world in locating and recovering missing and abducted children. To fulfill the CBSA's role, border services officers pay extra attention to children as they enter Canada. Determining which children have a valid reason to accompany adult travellers is an essential aspect of the program. This additional attention helps to ensure children's safety.
In a case from September 6, 2011, a 15-year-old girl from the United States was travelling by Greyhound bus en route to Edmonton and was seeking entry to Canada at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie. The officers interviewing her determined that she was going to meet her online, 17-year-old boyfriend whom she had never met before and whose first name she did not know. She had only communicated with him via text messages and only knew his nickname. After CBSA officers conducted database checks, they discovered that the girl's father had filed a missing person report. The girl was then returned to the United States into the custody of the United States Customs and Border Protection.
When travelling with children and crossing an international border, you can help avoid delays by:
Any individual with information about missing children can call 1-877-318-3576 toll-free or visit the Our Missing Children Web site at www.ourmissingchildren.gc.ca.
For media information:
Canada Border Services Agency
Southern Ontario Region
Telephone: 905-354-2293 or 519-967-4330