Western Sydney Wanderers FC will today be uniting with the football world to support International Missing Children's Day.
Over 200 clubs from six continents will be joined by international associations, national leagues, governing bodies and the wider global football community to take part in the ‘Football Cares’ initiative that aims to help reunite missing children with their loved ones.
The ‘Football Cares’ Initiative is being run by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) and supported by both the European Club Association (ECA) and FIFA.
Australia is a member country of the Global Community to Find Missing Children, working directly with ICMEC to co-ordinate and build awareness among local, regional and global communities.
Approximately 25,000 young people are reported missing in Australia every year and ICMEC’s digital campaign hopes to amplify the plight of missing children through social media presence on a global scale.
Each football club has volunteered to use their social media channels on the 25th of May to share videos featuring children who are currently missing all over the world.
AS Roma, who have a longstanding relationship with ICMEC, are helping to facilitate the project approaching other clubs, including the Wanderers, to participate.
“Over one million children are reported missing around the world each year and while the majority may return home quickly and safely, many remain missing for longer periods of time,” said Bob Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer at ICMEC.
“On International Missing Children’s Day 2020, we are honoured to have the support of the global football community. With the huge following and global reach that these clubs boast, we hope that someone, somewhere could recognize one of the missing children in the videos and lead to a child being reunited with their loved ones.”
For more than 20 years, ICMEC has been leading efforts to make the world safer for children from abduction, sexual abuse, and exploitation. Their work reaches across every continent, and ICMEC’s Global Missing Children’s Network brings together 30 countries to help recover missing and abducted children.
On the 25th of May each year, to mark International Missing Children’s Day, ICMEC coordinates activities and campaigns to build awareness around the issue of missing children, celebrate those who have been recovered and remember those who are still missing.
“Football is the world’s most popular sport and ICMEC recognizes the potential of the clubs to amplify our efforts to publicize the plight of missing children through their incredible social media presence,” said Caroline Humer, Vice President of Programs.
“We’d like to thank the ECA and FIFA for their fantastic support, every club who has agreed to participate in the ‘Football Cares’ Initiative and also AS Roma, who first approached us about the initiative and are helping ICMEC to put the campaign together.”