Frank Hoen, Chairman and Founder of AMBER Alert Europe, presents the Annual Report 2021 and elaborates on how the foundation has worked towards #ZeroMissingKids the past year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been, and continues to be, an unprecedented moment in time. It has had a significant global impact on many aspects of our lives, affecting everyone, everywhere and profoundly testing our resilience.

Therefore, I want to open this annual report by acknowledging the challenging context for our members and partners and thanking them for their continuous commitment and support.

With 300.000 children going missing in Europe every year, tackling this issue remains at the heart of our organisation. In 2021, we continued to build on our Common European Approach on Missing Children and Missing Persons (CEA), a European-wide approach supported by 4 pillars, aimed at preventing children from going missing and ensuring that appropriate action is taken if a child does go missing.

As a result, valuable partnerships and bonds were forged, prevention- and awareness campaigns launched, best-practices shared, training programs for professionals in the area of missing persons created and conducted, and people from all walks of life mobilized to get us closer to #ZeroMissingKids.

The year ended with a historic breakthrough. For the first time ever, the issue of missing persons was firmly put on the EU agenda after all 27 EU Member States agreed to the Council Conclusions on Stepping Up Cross-Border Police Cooperation in the Area of Missing Persons.

This accomplishment is the result of a combined effort of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Slovenian Police, the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons and AMBER Alert Europe, and serves as the foundation for improved cooperation in the area of missing persons and missing children in Europe. An essential and solid foundation that we can build on for many years to come.

As we look towards 2022, we will continue to target our activities and efforts where they will have the greatest impact on children; protecting them from any risk of violence and abuse that may lead to or stem from going missing across and beyond national borders. I am looking forward to joining forces with all of you to achieve the latter.

Click here for the full report.