5th International Conference for Missing Children and Adults

Aerial view of Portsmouth for 5th International Missing Persons Conference

  • 05 July 2021, 10:00 - 07 July 2021, 17:00
  • £40 per day

Join us for an online conference exploring international perspectives on the field of missing persons research.

Call for papers

We’re inviting proposals for symposia and presented papers, particularly in new and emerging topics in the study of missing persons. We’ll also be hosting Marketplace of Ideas sessions, to present examples of practice in this field.  


A symposium proposal is appropriate for a coordinated group of presentations that will focus on one topic.

Symposium proposals should include three 15-minute presentations and a discussant. The discussant must be independent of research projects that are presented in the symposium. Each participant and the topics to be discussed should be outlined in the proposal. The participation of each presenter should be secured before submitting the proposal

Each symposium session at the conference will be allotted up to 60 minutes.

In keeping with the international nature of this conference, higher priority will be given to proposals that have international representation among their panellists.

Paper proposals are appropriate for presentations that will focus on an individual research topic.

After acceptance/rejection of proposals has been determined, the conference organisers will group paper presentations into sessions consisting of 3-5 presentations. Every effort will be made to ensure international representation in each paper session. The amount of time allowed for each individual presentation will be determined by the total number of presentations involved.

Marketplace of Ideas are practice focused sessions of between 30 – 60 minutes which aim:

  • To provide practical examples of successful practices across the full range of ‘missing’ issues.
  • To provide a forum for identifying, collecting and showcasing innovative partnership approaches, as a basis for exploring the principles behind success and sustainability of such collaborations.
  • To stimulate interest in the development of new collaborative programs.

Ideally the Marketplace of Ideas will be a joint presentation by either: a practitioner and an academic or by two practitioners from different services (e.g., a police officer and a social or health professional) where both have been involved in the project. Marketplace of Ideas sessions will be interactive. Some examples of Marketplace of Ideas sessions could be:

  • Presentations/demonstrations of training packages, curriculums, manuals, videos etc.
  • A ‘Knowledge exchange’ through a facilitated discussion after describing the achievements and/or failures of a particular program initiative.
  • A ‘mini Master class’ via a highly interactive workshop to communicate experiential knowledge and know-how.
  • ‘Up close and personal’ with an expert on a technical question: informative, inspiring, energetic up to 15-minute talks in the TED/IGNITE style.


Proposals may address topics in all areas of missing persons. We especially welcome proposals that are empirically based, and those that involve new and emerging topics, research, and initiatives within this vast subject area.

Paper and Marketplace proposals should consist of an abstract that is no longer than 250 words. Symposium proposals should consist of a 250-word abstract for each paper, plus an additional 200-word abstract for the symposium.

There will be a limit of TWO first-author presentation submissions (either individual papers or papers within a symposium) for each applicant.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, 30 April 2021.

All proposals should be submitted electronically to csmp@port.ac.uk. Please check this page for regular updates regarding the conference programme, registration and prices.

Proposals will be evaluated through a blind review process focused on the following three criteria:

  • the intellectual merit of the proposal
  • the innovative nature of the proposal
  • the proposal's integration of multiple aspects of the field of missing persons

Acceptance of proposals will be at the discretion of the conference organisers.

Further information

If you have any questions or comments regarding the call for papers, or about the conference, please feel free to contact one of the conference organisers:

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