Missing Children Europe is looking to recruit a versatile and dynamic employee with a strong research background and a true passion for children’s rights, to coordinate activities and advocate for policy change in the field of better data on missing children.

Missing Children Europe (MCE) represents 32 NGOs in 27 European countries active in combatting the disappearance and sexual exploitation of children. 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.


Background to the position

Every year at least two hundred and fifty thousand children go missing in Europe. Due to the lack of comparable official statistics on missing children – the only Europe-wide report is outdated with figures from 10 years ago – it is difficult to grasp the full scope of the issue or what are the current reasons why children go missing. That is why, since 2014, Missing Children Europe collects and analyses data from the hotlines for missing children and the network of cross-border family mediators.

One of Missing Children Europe’s Strategy 2022 – 2025 ‘Consolidating our Impact on Children’ specific objectives is to improve the availability of data from hotlines by harmonizing definitions and data. The Reviewed Advocacy Strategy for 2022-2024 further identifies improved data availability on missing children as a key objective.

In recent years, Missing Children Europe has run a number of research projects to better understand the reasons why children go missing (SUMMIT, children in migration – EWELL, children in parental abductions – RADAR, children who run away from home or care – CESAGRAM , grooming and missing)



The Research Officer will support the Secretary General and work in close cooperation with other staff members (senior policy and advocacy officer, senior programmes officer, project officers) in coordinating research activities in the field of missing children.

In particular, the Research Officer will:

  1. Be responsible for coordinating the implementation of the new EU funded DATA MISSING project (March 2023- February 2025). The project aims to support the development of comprehensive and sustainable reporting, data collection and statistical mechanisms on missing children, as a consequence of and risk factor for violence, in the 27 EU Member States. There will be a particular focus on children in vulnerable situations, facing discrimination and at higher risk of violence (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, children in institutions, etc). Specific objectives of the project are the following:
    • Contribute to robust, comprehensive, disaggregated (e.g. gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc), and comparable data on missing children, as a consequence of and risk factor for violence, in the 27 EU MS.
    • Develop recommendations on comprehensive and comparable reporting mechanisms and data sets on missing children based on an in-depth gap analysis of 10 EU MS (see 2.1 for more details). There will be a particular focus on children in vulnerable situations, facing discrimination and at higher risk of violence (e.g. gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, children in institutions, etc).
    • Pilot in 116 000 hotlines in three Member States (BE, LT & CY) an efficient reporting and data collection methodology on missing children.
    • Increase the capacity of national authorities to report and collect data on missing children, including through national workshops.
    • Develop European guidance on reporting and data collection mechanisms on missing children.
  2. Be responsible for the academic rigor, implementation and analysis of the annual data collection from the 116 000 hotlines & cross border family mediator network (‘Figures and Trends’)
  3. Develop new project proposals, support the development of proposals which include research components, and run any other ongoing work on better data on missing children.
  4. Contribute to Missing Children’s research projects and proposals to maintain the quality of research, and ensure academic rigour
  5. Monitor European developments in the field of data collection and statistics relevant to missing children.
  6. Represent Missing Children Europe with regard to the topic of data on missing children, vis-à-vis the European institutions, the Council of Europe and other relevant stakeholders,


Profile, skills and background:

  • University research degree in a relevant field (criminology, psychology, sociology, education, political science, human rights, law, EU or international affairs, or another related field), preferably a PhD
  • Solid experience in quantitative and qualitative research is essential to the job
  • Experience of trauma-sensitive interviewing an asset
  • Ideally, a minimum of 2-3 years of professional experience in project management
  • Excellent understanding of children’s rights and child protection issues
  • Excellent command of English is essential, French an asset
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Experience in working with the European Commission and other EU institutions
  • A good understanding of EC funding programmes
  • Understanding of the NGO sector / EU umbrella organisations
  • Comfortable working in cooperation with children and young experience experts
  • Sensitive, diplomatic, and with a good sense of humour
  • Ability to work with people from different professional and cultural backgrounds
  • Ability to work well with others in a small team
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently as well as stress resistant


Our offer:


  • An exciting job in a small but dynamic organisation dealing with problems related to the disappearance and sexual exploitation of children at a European level.



  • Full-time, permanent contract.
  • Starting date: February 2023



  • Remuneration will depend on the candidate’s experience and qualification, following the remuneration scheme of Missing Children Europe. Packages include holiday scheme, 13th month, lunch vouchers, hospitalisation insurance and full reimbursement of public transport costs.


If you believe you qualify for this position please send your CV and a letter outlining your motivation (1 page max.) to applications@missingchildreneurope.eu by the 19th of January midnight CET with “Research Officer” as a subject title.

In person interviews are planned to take place 25-26th January 2023 (Brussels).  You will receive a notification on the 23rd January. The notification will include a test to be completed before the interview. Please note that only selected candidates will be contacted.

Staff recruited by Missing Children Europe will be asked to comply with our child protection policy, including necessary vetting and background checks of personnel. Missing Children Europe is an equal opportunity employer and does not to discriminate against any employee or job applicant because of race, colour, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age.