Best practice: First cross border AMBER Alert in Netherlands/ Belgium/ Germany

On May 8th 2013 the first cross border child alert was issued in Europe. An AMBER Alert was issued in the Netherlands after two small Dutch boys named Julian (7) and Ruben (9) went missing. Their father had committed suicide. The boys were nowhere to be found. Their lives feared to be in acute danger.

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European AMBER Alert

The Dutch police had reasons to believe the children were taken to Germany or Belgium and requested a European AMBER Alert. The alert disseminated by AMBER Alert Europe (EU), AMBER Alert (NL), ChildFocus (BE) and Initiative Vermisste Kinder (DE). Sadly, the bodies of the boys were found a few weeks later. It is assumed their father took their lives before he committed suicide.

Extensive media attention in Netherlands, Belgium, Germany

1.95 million people in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany were instantly informed via mobile phones, social media, Apps, etc, (1.6 million in the Netherlands). The boys’ photo was displayed on large screens throughout the Netherlands, in the Belgian province of Limburg and in North Rhine-Westphalia (DE).

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