#HearMeOut: 12-18 October 2020

Each year, the third week of October is marked as the International Mediation Week to promote mediation in general, and for Missing Children Europe to highlight the importance of family mediation in parental abduction cases. Despite its success rate, mediation remains a solution that is not sufficiently used in Europe.

Missing Children Europe aims to raise awareness during this week, particularly from the perspective of the child who is caught in the middle of two parents that are going through court to resolve family conflicts. This experience can be very traumatic for the child, and for the parents, who often end up in a legal custody battle for years.

#HearMeOut represents the many children that want to be listened to and require their parents to find less traumatic solutions such as mediations to resolve their conflict for the well being of the whole family.

To mark the occasion this year, Hugo de Jesus Alves created a HearMeOut wall in Ixelles (Brussels).

In Europe, parental child abductions account for ¼ of the missing children cases reported to the European missing children hotlines.

In Europe, a continent without borders, international marriages are increasingly common. In recent years, around 250 thousand marriages between a foreigner and a national in Europe and the proportion of mixed marriages totalled 15%. In some cases, the marriage falls apart and escalates into a family conflict. When a parent takes his/her child to another country without the permission of the other parent, we talk about international child abduction.

#HearMeOut: 12-18 October 2020

As international family mediation has proven to be a more efficient and a less conflictual procedure. In mediation, trained professionals engage directly with the parents to find a solution that reflects the specific family situation, is acceptable for both parties and places the needs and wellbeing of the children at the centre of the process.

This year we would like to move the campaign across Europe by using our catchy hashtag with the location of a city – #HearMeOut or #HearMeOut[name of city], e.g. #HearMeOutBrussels. We would like you to encourage individuals to use any possible place: from your couch to the iconic places and monuments (e.g. Grand Place, Eiffel Tower or Big Ben). Take a selfie or ask your friend to take a picture of you holding a piece of paper with the #HearMeOut or #HearMeOut[name of city] and share it on social media.

Do not forget to tag us on twitter @MissingChildEU and on Facebook @MissingChildrenEurope so that we can help spread the word.

Why not move it to the next level? Try to involve national leaders/authorities and policy makers to take pictures with our memorable hashtag too!

Want to do more?

Help us raise awareness for mediation in cross-border family disputes to ensure children are supported. With your contribution we can disseminate information on mediation and inform parents about the alternatives for court proceedings and their advantages. With your help children’s voices will be heard during family disputes.

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