Brussels, 25 October 2023 – Every two minutes a child is reported missing in Europe. The reasons for their disappearance, which are mostly of non-criminal origin, are often unknown at the time of reporting.

To improve assistance and support to victims and relatives of missing persons without apparent cause, today and tomorrow the Centro Nacional de Desaparecidos (CNDes) – the Spanish National Centre for Missing Persons – will host a preparatory meeting, as part of the events of the Spanish Presidency, aiming to discuss the Spanish Presidency’s proposal to create a European Centre for Missing Persons.

Missing Children Europe represents 32 organisations active in 27 countries and provides the link between research, policies and organisations on the ground working to protect and prevent children from any form that causes them to go missing. As the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children, Missing Children Europe strongly welcomes the work of the Spanish Presidency to promote good practices on missing persons and pays special attention to missing children considering their vulnerabilities, regardless of the reasons for their disappearance.

Missing Children Europe also coordinates the network of the 116000 missing children European hotlines. The 116000 hotlines, managed in Spain by our member Fundación ANAR and encouraged by the CNDes’ 1st Strategic Plan on Missing Persons 2022-2024, work with law enforcement, child protection services, and other relevant actors to provide critical support to children (at risk of) going missing and their families.

Capacity building of the 116000 hotlines and law enforcement is therefore fundamental to preventing children from going missing, keeping them from harm when they go missing, and supporting them when they return home. Missing Children Europe looks forward to continuing collaborating with the Spanish Presidency to maintain momentum in our efforts to protect missing children.