For Immediate Release
May 25, 2012
Ministry of Justice
How can you help bring a missing child home?
VICTORIA – In recognition of International Missing Children Day, the Province wants you to know how strategies for keeping our kids safe have been enhanced, and how you can become involved, Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond said today.
Under the recently expanded AMBER Alert program, AMBER Alerts can now be activated on a 24-hour basis, without delay, to all 30,000 provincial government employees and also shared through the provincial government's social media sites, including the Emergency Info BC site – www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca/ – and Twitter feed: @EmergencyInfoBC
Once received from police, the distribution of AMBER Alerts to provincial government employees is being handled by the Province’s emergency co-ordination centres.
In April, the provincial government challenged Crown corporations and private businesses to set up AMBER Alert distribution systems in their organizations and for British Columbians to sign up for Amber alerts via text message. London Drugs, ICBC and BC Transit have all taken up the challenge – have you?
The ministry has also launched a new one-stop, online information resource to help parents and families whose children may have been abducted to another country. The website – www.ag.gov.bc.ca/international-child-abduction – offers prevention information and links to other resources related to missing children, such as Child Find British Columbia, Passport Canada and the Missing Children Society of Canada.
The website has been developed as part of British Columbia’s commitment under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which provides procedures for parents to seek the return of or access to their children when they have been wrongfully removed or retained in another country.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Shirley Bond –
“Our government wants to ensure that British Columbians are aware of the ways they can help bring a missing child home. When a child is taken, the stress and pain it causes the family and their community is unspeakable.”
“Today is a day when we should be grateful for the family that we have and when we should all consider what we can do to help those whose children are missing.”
Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens, Commanding Officer of the RCMP in British Columbia –
"The evolution and co-ordination of the AMBER Alert Program is in line with the evolution of investigative standards and services in this province. To ensure the well-being of children – there is a very real need for partnership and collaboration from the government, the police and the community.”
“This is the best way to guarantee the safety of our children. I look forward to our continued partnership with all our AMBER Alert partners. I believe they can play a crucial role in the safe recovery of a missing child.”
· In Canada, each province and territory has a central authority that provides information and assistance to parents and other central authorities. Penny Lipsack, a lawyer with the Ministry of Justice, is the central authority for B.C. She may be contacted at: 250 356-8433 or: Penelope.Lipsack@gov.bc.ca
· International Child Abduction: www.ag.gov.bc.ca/international-child-abduction
· Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: www.hcch.net/index_en.php?act=conventions.text&cid=24
· List of countries signed on to the Hague Convention: www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/14_fr_hague
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice and Attorney General
Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect