Every 2 minutes a child is reported missing in the EU. Many of these missing children cases cross borders. In order to better protect our children, AMBER Alert Europe is calling on the European Parliament and Council to include preventive alerts for children, who are at risk of abduction or who might be harmed if they go missing, in the Schengen Information System (SIS). SIS contains information on missing persons at border controls in 30 countries throughout Europe. Preventive alerts will provide border guards with the necessary information to keep children at risk safe.
Currently, SIS only contains information on missing persons who need to be placed under protection or in order to prevent threats. With the current legislation in place, missing children at risk aren’t sufficiently protected. Therefore, AMBER Alert Europe welcomes MEP Carlos Coelho’s (EPP) draft report on the improvement of SIS.
Additionally, AMBER Alert Europe calls on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) MEPs to vote in favour of entering children at risk of harm when going missing in SIS. Not only children at risk of abduction, as proposed by the European Commission.
“At least 250,000 children are reported missing every year in the European Union. We urge MEPs to adopt a position that ensures that children at risk of abduction or significant harm when going missing may be entered in SIS at the request of the competent authorities”, commented Frank Hoen, President of AMBER Alert Europe.
Majority MEPs in favour of better protection missing children
The European Parliament has a strong track record on protecting children’s rights. Last year, the Written Declaration on improving emergency cooperation in recovering endangered missing children and improving child alert mechanisms in the EU member states was adopted with an overwhelming support from 465 MEPs.