The "completely revolutionary" YouTube site will help find abducted children

By Ellen Tumposky
Updated August 10, 2007 12:00 PM

The parents of missing child Madeleine McCann have launched a new channel on YouTube to allow people to post videos, images and information about their missing children.

The site,, which kicks off today, has been created by Gerry and Kate McCann, the British doctors whose 4-year-old daughter disappeared from their vacation apartment in Portugal on May 3. They are working with Google, YouTube and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), a U.S.-based organization.

“Because of what has happened to Madeleine, we have become aware of so many other children that have gone missing and also a lot about how many children are abducted and the extent of child sexual exploitation,” Kate McCann told the British newspaper the Guardian.

Gerry McCann says he approached ICMEC to regulate the channel to make sure any child on a video that is posted is really missing, that authorities know the child is missing, and that the images are not exploitative.

Ernest Allen, chief executive of ICMEC, said the new site is “completely revolutionary.”

The group had previously set up missing kids’ sites in 14 countries, he said, “and then Gerry came along with this idea. We hadn’t thought of using YouTube. Now it will allow us to have one worldwide clearinghouse for all the information on missing children.”

The McCanns, who have remained in Portugal during the search for their daughter, have been conducting their campaign from a two-bedroom apartment lent to them by friends. Friends and family have raised money, distributed pictures and a DVD of Madeleine to the press, and celebrities including soccer star David Beckham and author J.K. Rowling have helped publicize their search.