It is horrifying to know that hundreds of thousands of children are reported missing in the United States every year. However, those statistics on missing persons in the US cannot hold a candle when it comes to a global scale.
The statistics on missing persons can be staggering, not only for missing children, but missing adults and tourists as well.
A Look into Worldwide Statistics on Missing Persons
An estimated 8 million children are said to go missing each year, worldwide. Around 800,000 are from the United States, 40,000 each year in Brazil, 50,500 in Canada, 39,000 in France, 100,000 in Germany, 45,000 in Mexico, and an estimated 230,000 go missing in the United Kingdom every year.
Child abduction alerts patterned after the AMBER Alert are now implemented in 18 other countries. The list includes Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, and the UK. However, Europe does implement one missing child telephone number across the continent: 116 000.
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Most developing countries including Africa, Asia, and Latin America don’t count missing children. In fact, in many of these places, there are no specific laws for these missing children. They neither have established protocol or central missing-child registries, making them more difficult to find.
In 2004, most of the victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami were identified through DNA extracted from their molars. Teeth are said to be the most indestructible substances in the human body and are a good source of DNA. However, medical examiners and coroner’s offices in the US hold over 40,000 sets of unidentified human remains—a number large enough to represent a small city.
Japan has the seventh-highest rate of parental abductions involving children from the US, while Mexico ranks first. These countries are actually very uncooperative in returning these children to their parents. Also included in the list are India, Slovakia, Honduras, Russia, and Switzerland.
The U.S. Department of State said that there are no statistics that track the number of Americans that go missing in a foreign country. This makes it harder to keep track of missing cases abroad. However, the UK does have the statistics. In 2008, 481 Britons were said to have disappeared abroad, up from 401 the previous year, and 336 in 2006. there were 30 people officially documented to have disappeared on cruise ships in the years 2002–2007.
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