Parents of children who have
disappeared, including those of Madeleine McCann, 4, are marking the
EU's Missing Children's Day.
|John McCann said the family would not
stop until Madeleine was found
John McCann, Madeleine's uncle, on
a visit to UK charity Missing People, urged families in a similar
position to remain hopeful.
The key was to realise that there
was a channel of support, said Mr McCann.
The charity said that since
Madeleine's abduction on 3 May there had been 1,200 reports of
missing young people.
The aim of the day, instigated by
the European Union, is to support parents like the McCanns.
In the UK, Missing People,
previously known as the National Missing Persons Helpline, chose the
day to relaunch under its new name and logo.
It also announced what it said was
the first UK direct mailing appeal to help find missing children.
And the charity launched an
official yellow Missing People ribbon to symbolise support for all
People have been urged to wear
yellow ribbons to mark their support for the McCanns since Madeleine
was snatched from their holiday apartment in Praia Da Luz.
was projected on to Marble Arch in central London
John McCann visited the charity's
offices in London to highlight its work and to offer support to
other families whose children had disappeared.
He said: "I'm sure that you all
can relate to the horrible feeling in the pit of your stomach and
the complete turmoil that hits us.
"The initial waves of sickness and
mental upset was completely overwhelming. None of us was able to
He added: "For all families that
are coping with a disappearance, your pain will be like ours and
some of them will have carried it for longer than we have.
"What I want to do is show that
you can remain hopeful. The key part is realising that there is a
channel of support and that is where the charity Missing People
Mr McCann said the family was in
it for the long haul and would not stop until Madeleine was found.
|Missing People is
appealing for help finding Carmel Fenech, 16
He joined Paul Tuohy, chief
executive of Missing People, as he re-launched the charity.
"We are re-launching at a
peculiarly ironic time - when the level of interest in missing
people has perhaps never been higher, when 'missing' as a social
issue is on the lips of politicians, radio and TV presenters,
newspaper editors, and men, women and young people the length and
breadth of the country."
Mr Tuohy also announced a direct
mailing appeal for a missing child, which will be delivered to half
a million homes on Friday.
It carries an appeal for a girl
named Carmel Fenech who was 16 when she disappeared from Crawley,
West Sussex, on May 23, 1998.
According to Home Office
estimates, 210,000 people are reported missing each year in the UK,
around two-thirds of whom are under the age of 18.
The EU Justice Commissioner marked
the day with a plea not to forget the McCanns' plight.
Franco Frattini said: "The public
support shown throughout Europe to the parents of Madeleine McCann
has illustrated European citizens' solidarity with the families of
missing children and the importance they attach to ensuring a safe
and secure environment for our children."
All EU staff in Brussels were
urged to wear forget-me-not (myosotis) flowers in support of the
European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children, the
organisers of the event.