Missing Children Europe

Missing Children Europe is the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children. We represent a network of 30 NGOs in 26 countries in Europe. We 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.

Vision and mission

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.

Our 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.

Our impact

This chart summarises the key aspects of our work. For a complete copy of the brochure, please click here.



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. 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.

"It seems unreal that a child goes missing every 2 minutes in the EU and that we still fight multiple networks instigating severe sexual abuse of babies and children in the off- and on-line world. But that is a fact. At the same time it is some consolation that Missing Children Europe continues to play a key role as one of the 'solid rocks' in the defense against these atrocities. This organisation and their dedicated staff remain a true example of the spirit that is needed and will continue to be needed to protect the most valuable asset of our societies: our children" 

Troels Oerting, 

Assistant Director, Head of European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Chair of the European Financial Coalition against commercial sexual exploitation of children online