It is with great regret that Missing Children Europe inform you of the passing of our founding president Baron Daniel Cardon de Lichtbuer.

We keep the memory of a great man who made an indispensable contribution to the protection of missing and sexually exploited children globally. He played a key role in founding not only Child Focus in Belgium, but also Missing Children Europe, of which he was president from 2001 to 2007. He also served as Chairman of the Board of International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC).

Notably, during his leadership:

  • In 2003, Missing Children Europe started to coordinate for the first time a campaign for International Missing Children’s Day on 25 May – an annual campaign which continues to take place 25 years later.
  • In 2006, the first EU strategy on the rights of child included a focus on missing and sexual exploited children.
  • In 2007, the European Union reserved the number 116000 as the hotline number for missing children. The dedication of this number for missing children was a major step for Missing Children Europe and its members, who had been campaigning for the introduction of such a number for several years. Since its launch in 2007, hotline operators across Europe have answered over 2 million calls and supported more than 70 thousand cases of missing children.

2022 marks both 15 years of the 116 000 hotlines and 20 years since the formal establishment of Missing Children Europe. We much regret that we will not be able to mark these important milestones with him.

We are committed to continuing on the path he has traced with professionalism and rigor.

Our thoughts are with Baron Daniel Cardon de Lichtbuer’s family and friends at this difficult time.