Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Disappearance of a minor child

Verified 13 October 2021 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you notice the disappearance of your minor child (runaway, kidnapping, accident, etc.), you must first search for him with your relatives before alerting the competent services. There are mechanisms to assist in the search for missing children.

If your child has disappeared and you cannot contact him or her, you must first seek him or her from friends, neighbors and family members.

You should also look for him in the places he is used to (park, playground...).

You can contact his school or the place that has custody (examples: aerated center, sports club).

It is advisable to inquire about the time at which your child left alone.

Similarly, in case of fugue, it is recommended to check if your child has left with any belongings (ID, money, clothes, bags, mobile phone,...).

In case of a worrying disappearance, including a fugue, you should contact the police or gendarmerie services near your home.

These services will implement research activities.

To contact the police or gendarmerie, you can call the 17.

The unexplained disappearance of a minor is an emergency.

You can also go directly to a police station or gendarmerie. Their premises are open to the public 24 hours a day. A recent photograph of the child will be requested.

Who shall I contact
Who shall I contact

Only in the case of removal, the public prosecutor may decide to trigger the device Removal alert. This device alerts the media and disseminates the report of the abducted child. However, the triggering of this alert is not systematic.


in case of parental abduction (if the other parent leaves with the child) or non-presentation of child, you must follow a other approach.

Telephone service 116,000 Missing Children is a unique European issue dedicated to missing children.

Who shall I contact

Its mission is to listen to and support the families of missing children. It advises families in administrative and legal proceedings.

He also intervenes with families in the context of runaways, parental kidnappings in France or abroad.