Canadian Children's Rights Council
Conseil canadien des droits des enfants
International Child abductions from Canada

Report and Statistics from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

Our Missing Children - Annual Reports / Rapports annuels - Nos enfants disparus


Missing Children Reference Reports / Compte rendu sur les enfants disparus

2008    PDF Click here        PDF cliquez ici

2007    PDF Click here        PDF cliquez ici

2006    PDF Click here        PDF cliquez ici

2005    PDF Click here        PDF cliquez ici

2004    PDF Click here        PDF cliquez ici

2003    PDF Click here        PDF cliquez ici

From the RCMP website:


National Missing Children Services (NMCS) extends its appreciation to all the partner police agencies that made a commitment to entering missing child reports into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system, and for keeping the CPIC records current. A special thank you is extended to the law enforcement officials and coordinators who work diligently on missing children investigations and initiatives in their provinces.

This report was prepared with the assistance of the staff of NMCS: Marlene Dalley, Ph.D., author, Sandra Hatzis, Stephan Hobbs and Eric Munro for data collection and tabulation and the Canadian Police Information Center services for national data.

Executive Summary

National Missing Children Services (NMCS) is the only national missing children clearing house for information and assistance to police, not-for-profit agencies and parents. It is proud to have been serving Canadians for the past 23 years.

From December 1988 to December 2008, 10, 519 cases were opened and 8, 174 cases closed. Currently, 2, 345 cases are active.

The NMCS tracks and stores information on its cases yearly. The results of this research show that in 2008, NMCS assisted in the investigation of 86 Canadian cases involving 108 children, 273 United States cases involving 386 children, and 115 international cases (excluding the U.S.A.) involving 148 children.

The NMCS researcher also analyzes the missing children entries in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system. Entries are made by accredited Canadian police agencies. An analysis of the 2008 reports showed that the total number of missing children reports decreased to 56,102 from 60,582 reports entered in 2007. The number of reports in all categories of missing children increased, with the exception of the runaway, stranger abduction and wandered off categories.

The runaway category composes three-quarters of the missing children reports. More females than males run away and most often they run away from their family residence while 22 per cent run from foster homes. Over 80 per cent of runaway children have a history of repeat or chronic running episodes.

The parental abductions reports, both custody and non custody, totalled 300. More male children than females were abducted, the same as 2007. In the majority of the cases, a custody order was in place. Forty-two per cent of the children were under the age of 5, 30 per cent between ages of 6 and 11, and 28 per cent between the ages of 12 and 17. About three-quarters were last seen at their family or foster home residence.

Stranger abduction reports remained the same in 2008. More females than males were reported missing. Sixty-eight per cent of the children disappeared from their family residence. Twenty-five per cent were under the age of one, and 20 per cent were 14 and 15 years-old.

In 2008, 56, 102 transactions were entered and 53, 501 transactions were removed from the CPIC system. Sixty-two per cent were removed in the 24 hours following the initial missing report, and 84 per cent were removed within a week. Note: The 2008 "removed" transactions may include children entered on the system in previous years but who were found in 2008, and then removed.

The NMCS and its partner agencies offers several services to law enforcement agencies and the families of missing children, including a travel reunification program, photo age progression service, training for law enforcement officials, and updates on the AMBER Alert program.

The NMCS works closely with National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre (NCECC) to combat Internet-facilitated sexual criminal activity that targets, exploits, victimizes, and abuses children and youth.

The NMCS collaborates on missing children cases with several federal government departments and agencies: the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Department of Justice Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and its international partners, and the United States National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

It also recognizes and works with several not-for-profit agencies such as Child Find Canada and its provincial offices, the Missing Children Society of Canada, the Missing Children Network Canada, Victims of Violence: Canadian Centre for Missing Children, Operation Go Home and International Social Service Canada.


National Missing Children Services Functions

NMCS is the only national missing children clearing house for information and assistance to police, not-for-profit agencies and parents. It was created to assist law enforcement agencies in the investigation, location and return of a missing child to their parent or legal guardian. The service is linked to all Canadian police and related agencies through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), to United States police agencies through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and to most foreign police agencies through Interpol.

National Missing Children Services has a two-fold mandate: Operations; and Research and Program Development.


NMCS is an investigative and operational support unit assisting Canadian agencies with their investigations. It coordinates national and international investigations with law enforcement agencies by using its network of contacts. NMCS works co-operatively with municipal, regional, provincial and national law enforcement agencies as well as with other Canadian searching organizations.

In 2002, NMCS announced the appointment of a national AMBER Alert program coordinator. The coordinator provides advice and updates on the program to Canadian law enforcement and searching agencies. NMCS liaises with Transport Canada regarding employee training, as well as providing training to Canadian law enforcement agencies.

NMCS also has partnered with National Child Exploitation Coordination Centre, Royal Canadian Mounted Police National Police Services investigators to determine if there are links to other crimes against children, such as the trafficking of children, Internet luring, and pornography.

Research and Program Development:

The researcher conducts original studies:
to contribute to policy development; to advance investigative processes; to assist in the development of investigative response plans; and to determine the nature and scope of the missing children problem in Canada.

In 2007, NMCS collected information from left-behind parents whose children were abducted by the other parent or guardian. Canada's not-for-profit agencies supported this research by contacting their clients and requesting their participation. The final research report has been released in English and French and is available on the NMCS web site.

An extensive reference report on Canada's missing children is written and published yearly. The report is launched by a federal government official on May 25th, National Missing Children's Day.

The research officer responds to media and public inquiries for national statistical information, trend analysis, and research study findings related to children and youth.  Research data collection and methodological advice and feedback on university graduate and post-graduate papers are provided to national and international students. As well, research and crime trend articles about missing children issues are published in law enforcement magazines.

To fulfil its prevention objectives, NMCS has developed a safety booklet, including information on "What to Do If Your Child Is Missing," "Safety In Cyberspace," and "Keeping Children Safe."

Reports, booklets and research studies are available by contacting the service at 1-877-318-3576 (toll free line) or visiting the website at

Data collection

This report is divided into two sections. The first section looks at operational files from the Police Information Retrieval System (PIRS), Police Reporting and Occurrence System (PROS) and Missing Children Registry (MCR) which is an internal monitoring system used by National Missing Children Services (NMCS).

The second section focuses on the National Missing Children and Youth Police Occurrence Reports perspective as generated by the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) system."