Europol

Why Europol should designate a dedicated unit on missing children

While the removal of internal borders between Member States is one of the EU’s greatest achievements, it also provides an escape route for child abductors. To combat this, we need a dedicated Europol unit on missing children.

Europol is the EU agency assuming the responsibility to achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all the EU citizens. With the number of children being reported missing in Europe ranging from 250 000 to 1 000 000, it is about time that Europol is allowed to designate an operating unit focusing on missing children.

Every endangered missing child deserves an equal chance of being found as quickly as possible and this must not be inhibited by them crossing borders. With 37.5% of the EU population living in border areas, ensuring that information about endangered missing children is shared across borders is essential.

In that spirit, we warmly welcome MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld’s proposed amendment in the framework of the dedicated report on the Eurodac regulation, namely suggesting that “Europol shall designate an operating unit in charge of missing children and child victims of trafficking in human beings. The designated authority shall be an operating unit of Europol competent to collect, store, process, analyse and exchange information to support and strengthen Member States in preventing, detecting or investigating child trafficking, labour or sexual exploitation.”.

AMBER Alert Europe and its Police Network for Missing Children stand ready to support Europol towards this direction.

Note:

Eurodac or the European Dactyloscopy is the European Union (EU) fingerprint database.