WELLINGTON, May 25 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand Police Friday announced it had joined 19 other countries affiliated to the Global Missing Children's Network (GMCN), an international organization that records and attempts to trace some of the 8 million children who disappear worldwide each year.
Detective Sergeant Linda Simpson, of the New Zealand Police Missing Persons Unit, said New Zealand was fortunate not to have children kidnapped or abducted for sexual exploitation.
"There are many countries where children are abducted and sexually exploited. Many of them are never found," Simpson said in a statement.
New Zealand had six historic cases of missing children aged under 16, who had never been found and all were believed to be dead.
The most recent was a two-year-old girl who disappeared in the South Island ski resort of Queenstown in 1992, and the oldest was the case of a 10-year-old boy, who is believed to have boarded a ship in Wellington in 1941.
While New Zealand was relatively safe for children, it was important to be part of the wider international community and to be aware of international trends that might affect New Zealand, said Simpson.
"We also want to be part of the prevention work that the GMCN carries out internationally."
The GMCN is a central multi-lingual database with information on and photographs of missing children. Participating countries could enter missing children on to the database. The GMCN also provides up-to-date training in the forensic imaging and age- progression technology, as well as information on issues and trends from around the world.
The New Zealand Police announced its participation on the International Missing Children's Day, which is held by the GMCN each May 25.
The GMCN had developed prevention tips to help parents, guardians and other adults discuss safety with children, said Simpson.