MEPs Miriam Dalli and Roberta Metsola have called for improved alert mechanisms, as well as better cooperation between member states’ emergency mechanisms, in order to ensure that missing children are rescued as quickly as possible.

Dalli and Metsola authored a written declaration alongside a number of other MEPs in view of statistics that show that some 250,000 children are reported missing in Europe every year, with three in four of the cases resulting in the child being killed three hours after the abduction.

Through the written declaration, MEPs are asking the European Council and the European Commission to implement a five-point plan proposed by AMBER Alert Europe (the European Child Rescue Alert and Police Network on Missing Children).

The MEPs point out that, the search for missing children often stops at the internal borders of EU Member States and does not go any further.

“Children and their interests are a priority in my political work. We need to continue working to protect children in every way possible, and we need to do all we can to give them a better life,” Dalli said.

“As MEPs, our goal is to try to ensure that we have a system in place that can protect as many children as possible. I am pleased that the majority of MEPs have given their support on this matter,” she added.

Metsola added that children are at the heart of policies both of the PN locally, and on a European level.

“Children’s well-being, in all circumstances, requires extensive work and dedication from all those involved,” Metsola said, adding that the initiative, which calls for broad cooperation between member states, should lead to significant progress in the fight against the abduction, trafficking and murder of children.

“This is why I have given my full support to this initiative, both as an MEP and as a mother. This is another clear example of the importance and benefit of cooperation and understanding between member states.”

“The European Commission is called upon to make every effort to encourage practices whereby when a child is at risk in a border area, or law enforcement agencies suspect that the child has crossed an internal border, law enforcement agencies, border authorities and the public in the other country are informed immediately,” the MEPs add.

This article was published on May 3th on Malta Today.