Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Missing children are young people whose location is not known to their families or, in some cases, who are not where they are supposed to be. It is a broad term, intended to cover several types of missing children. After this social problem came to public attention in the early 1980s, law enforcement and social service policies were reformed to address the issues posed by different types of missing children. Missing children have remained a focus of some concern. Concern about different types of missing children has a long history, but contemporary concern emerged around 1980, when activists began using the term missing children as a general category that included children who had been abducted by strangers and by family members, as well as runaways. The movement never offered a precise definition of missing children (or even of child —some cases involved people in their twenties). Still, activists argued that ...