The CBSA helps protect families at the border and find missing children.
If you have information about a missing child please contact your local police service.
Every day, Canada's border services officers are on the alert for abducted or missing children at this country's international airports, marine ports and land border crossings.
Their work is part of Our Missing Children, a successful joint program between Canada's law enforcement and government agencies. Founded in 1986, the program's goal is to locate and reunite missing or abducted children with their parents or legal guardians. Government of Canada departments involved include the RCMP, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, the Department of Justice and the CBSA.
The CBSA plays a vital role in this award-winning partnership by protecting children at border points of entry. Since Our Missing Children began, officers have reunited over 1,750 missing or abducted children with their legal guardians.
The CBSA's contribution to Our Missing Children requires teamwork at home and abroad. In Canada, the CBSA has national coordinators managing its part of the program who are supported by regional coordinators across the country. The regional coordinators help frontline officers by providing training and offering legislative or procedural guidance.
The CBSA's Border Operations Centre in Ottawa also plays a role. This 24/7 operation works closely with officers and coordinators by verifying immigration information and by managing national lookout reports for missing or abducted children.
Beyond the CBSA's internal efforts, its network of Our Missing Children coordinators is linked to all Canadian police forces through the Canadian Police Information Centre. Internationally, the coordinators are connected to police agencies in the United States through the National Crime Information Center and to most overseas police agencies through INTERPOL. The network is also in contact with many other organizations that play an integral role in recovering missing children: foreign government agencies, non-governmental agencies and foreign social services.
Together, the program's strong network of national and international players and the CBSA's coordinators ensure that border services officers have the most up-to-date information and can react quickly to any possible abduction or missing child case.
The CBSA also takes immediate action by issuing nationwide border alerts when an AMBER Alert is activated which occurs in the most serious of child abduction cases.
Border services officers are trained on how to handle situations involving abducted or runaway children. The program's partners provide officers with training packages on dealing with abduction cases, the indicators and profiles of abductors, interviewing techniques for children and possible abductors, and the various applicable laws. The CBSA also delivers training workshops to Canadian police forces, airline personnel, foreign customs services, U.S. immigration officers and law enforcement agencies around the world.
The CBSA is committed to keeping families safe so it works to educate the public on Our Missing Children and on its role in protecting children at the border. CBSA information booths are set up at trade shows and other events like National Missing Children's Day (May 25) and National Police Week to distribute awareness pamphlets and other promotional materials. You can do your part by ensuring that if you travel with your children or with the children of friends that you have the proper permission and documentation.
The CBSA's officers pay extra attention to children as they enter Canada. Recognizing 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.
To avoid delays at Canadian border crossings, travellers should consider this advice:
For more information on missing children, visit www.CanadasMissing.ca.
For additional tips on travelling with children, visit www.travel.gc.ca.