Dear friends and partners,
I am thrilled to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of AMBER Alert Europe, and I would like to take a moment to reflect on the significant progress that we have made over the past decade. Together, we have worked tirelessly to enhance the safety of children across Europe, and our accomplishments are a testament to the unwavering support of everyone who has contributed to our success.
Our journey began with a tragedy in The Netherlands when two young boys went missing. For two weeks, the police and the public frantically searched for them, even crossing national borders, as their father had laid misleading tracks across borders before tragically ending his children’s lives and his own.
This heartbreaking incident was the catalyst for AMBER Alert Europe. We came together with a shared purpose to prevent such heartbreaking events from happening again. And over the years, we have made significant strides in increasing the chances of safely recovering the 300,000 children who go missing every year in Europe.
Today, I am proud to say that we have achieved what once seemed impossible. Through our partnerships with law enforcement agencies and missing persons specialists across the continent, we have laid the foundation for the enhanced protection of missing children in Europe.
A foundation that consists of better cooperation across borders, a new generation of tools for law enforcement, specialised training programs for professionals in the area of missing persons, improved protocols for missing children’s investigations and impactful prevention- and awareness-raising efforts on the issue of missing children and its root causes. This would not have been possible without the unwavering support of our partners and supporters, and for that, we are forever grateful.
We owe special thanks to the European Parliament, the EU Council presidencies, and the European Commission for their cooperation and support of our initiatives, specifically in the establishment of the Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP), the adoption of the EU’s first Council Conclusions on missing persons during the Slovenian EU Council Presidency, and the introduction of the SIS Recast, a new tool in the Schengen information system, that can prevent children at risk of going missing from crossing European borders.
As we look ahead, we remain steadfast in our commitment to our joint mission towards #ZeroMissingKids in Europe. With your continued support, we can create a safer environment for children across the continent. Let us continue to join forces, break down barriers, and work towards a brighter, safer future for our children.
Frank C.C. Hoen
Chairman and Founder
AMBER Alert Europe Foundation