What is AMBER Alert?
The AMBER Alert program is a voluntary cooperative plan between provincial law enforcement agencies and various partners who work together to increase collaboration in an effort to safely recover missing children.
AMBER Alert programs are in effect in all 10 provinces in Canada; however, the three territories have not yet implemented AMBER Alert programs in their jurisdictions. Each province has agreements with various departments, agencies, and other entities for their AMBER Alert programs. For example, all provinces have agreements with broadcasting associations.
A national agreement is currently in place between the RCMP, on behalf of the provinces, and the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) which allows for AMBER Alerts to be sent out through short messaging system (SMS) to anyone who registers their cellular telephone.
If you wish to receive AMBER Alert text messages on your cellular phone, please visit www.wirelessamber.ca to register your mobile phone number for free.
The RCMP's NCMPUR Operations coordinates the National Amber Alert Working Group (NAAWG), which is a national working group comprised of provincial law enforcement agencies Amber Alert coordinators.
- AMBER Alert may be activated only by the police.
- AMBER Alert is intended only for the most serious, time critical abduction cases.
Criteria for Activating an AMBER Alert
Each province uses its own criteria to activate an AMBER Alert. To find out the criteria for your province, please contact your local police service.
Our Missing Children
The Our Missing Children program is comprised of four Federal Government Departments - Royal Canadian Mounted Police's NCMPUR Operations; Canada Border Services Agency; Global Affairs Canada; and Department of Justice Canada.
Although each Department has their own function, the four departments work together to effectively and efficiently locate and return children to their parents/legal guardians.
In 1985, the Canadian Ministry of the Solicitor General of Canada announced a multi-faceted program to help police investigate missing children cases in Canada. One component of the program was the establishment of the Missing Children's Registry which was officially opened by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in August of 1986.
In 1986, at the same time that the RCMP established the Missing Children's Registry, now known as National Missing Children Operations (NMCO), Canada Customs (now known as Canada Border Services Agency) was developing a missing children program. A training course on techniques to identify and intercept missing children was then developed and implemented.
Collectively, the partnership that forms "Our Missing Children" provides a unique and powerful force in locating and recovering missing children.
Together, the departments identify, intercept and recover missing children. To accomplish this objective they:
- Issue border alerts, not only with CBSA but to customs or immigration offices around the world;
- Develop profiles and indicators to identify and intercept abductors, abducted children and runaways, as well as techniques for interviewing children.
- The officers work closely with local social services in the event that a child's safety is at risk.
Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children grant
The Government of Canada is committed to supporting victims of crime and their families. The Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children (PMMC) grant is available to help parents while they are dealing with their tragedy.
This grant provides $350 a week of income support for up to 35 weeks to parents of murdered or missing children (less than 18 years of age) whose death or disappearance is the result of a probable Criminal Code offence which took place in Canada on or after January 1, 2013.
To access this income support, parents must be on leave from all employment and must apply for and receive the grant within one year of the offence. This grant can be shared by more than one eligible applicant for the same incident.
For complete eligibility criteria and more detailed information about the PMMC grant or to access the forms to apply for this income support grant, please visit the PMMC grant.
The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) works in cooperation with resource organizations that provide services related to missing children, missing persons, and unidentified remains. Organizations which have successfully submitted to a review process are identified through a link on the "Canada's Missing" website.
Application Process for Identified Canadian Programs
The following are some of the criteria to be identified as a Canadian program on the "Canada's Missing" website:
- The organization must formally apply to be identified by NCMPUR.
- The organization:
- must have a screening process for hiring its board of directors, management, and senior staff who work in the domain of missing persons and unidentified remains;
- must demonstrate how they serve the families / loved ones of missing persons and unidentified remains (i.e.; mission statement, charter, and/or mandate);
- must provide a list of their partners and sponsors in order to demonstrate that their partnerships and relationships to other organizations are open and unlikely to introduce conflicts of interest or risks to families of missing persons;
- must provide documentation identifying the source of their revenue. They may not use the NCMPUR name or image in any promotional activities or materials;
- must demonstrate that they do not charge fees for the services that they provide;
- must be a non-profit organization;
- must adhere to the Federal Privacy Act, Provincial legislation, or PIPEDA, as appropriate.
There are additional criteria specific to Aboriginal Organizations and Non-governmental Organizations which can be provided upon request.
These criteria must be met on an ongoing basis and will be validated annually by NCMPUR.
For more information or to submit an application please contact CanadasMissing-DisparusCanada@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
International Identified Programs
The following International Agencies are ongoing partners with the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR).
- NamUs (National Missing and Unidentified Persons System) is a national centralized repository and resource centre for missing persons and unidentified decedent records in the United States.
- UK Missing Persons Bureau is the UK national and international point of contact for all missing persons and unidentified body investigations in the UK.
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