SUDBURY -- January 13 marks International Amber Alert Awareness Day, in memory of a nine-year-old, Amber Hagerman, who was taken and murdered in Texas back in 1996.

The Amber alert system is being used in many countries around the world. 

In Ontario, the protocol was developed in 2003. Since then, dozens of children have been located safely. 

"When a child is abducted, there is no way to know where the abductor is headed, so it’s important to be able to notify the entire province in one simple way to be on the lookout for either a vehicle, suspect or the child itself, and report it to police," said Const. Michelle Coulombe with the Ontario Provincial Police.

OPP say eight Amber Alerts were activated in 2019. Out of 12 children were abducted, 11 were found safely. 

"Out of the eight abductions, six suspects were arrested. It’s nice to see that 11 of them were returned home safely. The program does work, we know that, and we will continue to use it," said Coulombe.

Officials with the OPP say all alerts have to meet a certain criteria and the end goal is to locate the child safety.