Football to unite to support International Missing Children’s Day initiative

ECA and its member clubs including Slavia will come together on International Missing Children’s Day in May to support a new initiative that hopes to help find vulnerable young people.

Over 50 ECA Member Clubs have volunteered to use their social media channels on 25 May to share videos featuring children who are currently missing all over the world.

The ‘Football Cares’ initiative is being run by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) and is supported by both ECA and FIFA. AS Roma, who have a longstanding relationship with ICMEC, are helping to facilitate the project.

“ECA and its member clubs are proud to be teaming up with ICMEC, an organisation that has done incredible work in helping vulnerable young people across the world for over two decades, to show that ‘Football Cares’ on International Missing Children’s Day,” said Charlie Marshall, Chief Executive Officer at ECA. “Clubs have a longstanding tradition of being vehicles for social impact in both their local communities and globally, a tradition of massive importance in today’s world. As a collective unit, ECA’s members have an unparalleled platform to reach millions worldwide to support those that are particularly vulnerable in our society.”

“Over one million children are reported missing around the world each year, and a missing child is a vulnerable child. While the majority may return home quickly and safely, many remain missing for longer periods of time,” added Bob Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer at ICMEC. “On International Missing Children’s Day 2020, we are honored to have the support of the world’s football community. With the huge following and global reach that these clubs boast, we hope that someone, somewhere might recognize one of the missing children in the videos so they can be reunited with their loved ones.”

For more than 20 years, ICMEC has been leading efforts to make the world’s children safer 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 them recover missing and abducted children.

On 25 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 greatly values the unique 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.”

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