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Home / Parenting

What to do if your child goes missing

 Caregivers and parents should take extra care of children when in crowded places (Image: Shutterstock)

Today, the world marks the day of the African child today, a day when events are held to create awareness and promote children’s rights in Africa.

Every 16th of June since 1976, The day of the African child is marked to commemorate the students uprising in Soweto.  This move was initiated in 1991 by the Organisation of African Union (Now the African Union)                                                                                      

It is for this and many other reasons that children’s rights are held in high esteem this including protection from kidnappings or abduction.                                                                                                                           

It is not uncommon to find children losing their way home or getting separated from their parents or caregivers in a crowded place. 

According to a 2020 report by Missing Child Kenya, out of 242 cases of missing children that the non-profit organisation handled, 63 were of children who were separated from their families while wandering.

Parents and caregivers are however advised to file a missing child report to the nearest police station, chief’s camp or children’s office once a child has been missing for more than 12 hours because time is of the essence.

Once the authorities have been alerted, parents can then seek the assistance of Missing Child Kenya which, according to founder and CEO Maryana Munyendo, boosts the search efforts for the missing child by sending photo posters and alerts to their platforms and networks.

Parents and caregivers of missing children should call the toll free number 0800 22 33 44 and provide the following information via the WhatsApp only number +254 704 447 417:

  • Police report with OB number and name of police station (mandatory)
  • A clear and recent photo of the child
  • Full names as they appear on birth certificate and any nicknames
  • Gender and age of the child
  • Where the child lives and county of occurrence
  • If/where the child goes to school
  • Date and time child was last seen 
  • What the child was last seen wearing and any unique features/birthmarks
  • Description of child’s medical condition/disability (if any)
  • At least three contact numbers which must include parents/guardians
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