Missing Children Europe is the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children. They represent a network of 30 NGOs in 26 countries in Europe. They provide the link between research, policies and organisations on the ground to protect children from any kind of violence, abuse or neglect that is caused by or results from them going missing.
Missing Children Europe’s vision is that all children should be able to rely on effective and holistic systems of child protection, where all measures are taken to empower and protect them from any situation of harm.
Their mission is to enable the development of effective and holistic child protection systems to:
• prevent children from going missing,
• support missing children and their families, and
• protect children from any risk of violence and abuse that may lead to or result from going missing.
Each year, well over 250 000 children slip through the net of child protection systems in Europe as they go missing following a wide range of situations of conflict, violence and abuse. Missing Children Europe and its 30 grassroots members actively prevent, protect and support missing children and their families in 26 countries in Europe.
Runaways, parental abductions and missing unaccompanied migrant children make up to 85% of missing children cases in the EU, but awareness and child protection responses for these vulnerable categories of missing children and their families still require a lot of support. Data from the dedicated European hotline for missing children active in 30 countries in Europe also reveals that over 18% of all cases involve a cross-border element. The issue of missing children is not confined to national borders and therefore requires European support structures and European policies to effectively tackle the real issues surrounding why children go missing.
This is the role played by Missing Children Europe. Their mission is to protect children from any harmful situation that may lead to, or result from, them going missing. They do this by supporting the development of effective cross-border solutions, raising awareness of these issues, developing effective networks and cooperation channels and promoting the implementation of supportive legislation for the best interests of the child.
They have a long way to go but they believe that together they can create a safer Europe for children.