According to the European Commission, 250 000 children are reported missing every year in the European Union, one child every two minutes. One-quarter of the cases reported to missing children hotlines in Europe in 2014 had a cross-border element.
To address this growing problem, the NGO Missing Children Europe, which is the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children, held an event in Brussels on 28 May at the European Parliament to commemorate International Missing Children’s Day. The President of Eurojust, Michèle Coninsx, participated in the event, organised by Missing Children Europe, chaired by Nathalie Griesbeck, MEP, and with the support of H. M. Queen Paola of Belgium.
Ms Coninsx and distinguished guests of the Patrons’ Council attended a high-level round table discussion,
at which a cross-border approach to the problem of missing children, the challenges to child protection, as well as tools, data and recommendations for the future, were on the agenda.
Statements were made by H.M. Queen Paola, Her Excellency Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, President of Malta, Ms Myria Vassiliadou, EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Ms Coninsx, Ms Ann-Maria Corazza-Bildt and Mr Jeroen Lenaers, MEPs, Ms Margaret Tuite, Coordinator of the Rights of the Child, DG Justice, European Commission, H. E. Torbjørn Frøysnes, Norwegian Ambassador to the Council of Europe, and Mr Pierre Reuland, Special Representative of INTERPOL to the EU.
Eurojust’s determination to counter any form of child abuse is reinforced by the work of the Contact Point for Child Protection. The Contact Point is mandated to represent Eurojust in child protection and related matters, and offers advice and support of tools and measures such as the INTERPOL database on missing children.
Missing Children Europe receives financial support from the ‘Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014-2020’ Programme of the European Union. For more information on Missing Children Europe, please see www.missingchildreneurope.eu.
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