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 32 countries in Europe also reveals that over 16% 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. Our mission is to protect children from any harmful situation that may lead to, or result from, them going missing. We 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.
We have a long way to go but we believe that together we can create a safer Europe for children.