Missing Children Europe, the European Federation for missing and sexually exploited children, launched a radio campaign on Thursday, to inform people about the new 116 000 European phone number. This phone line gives support to parents and children who have someone missing or are dealing with sexual abuse. Missing Children Europe is playing these radio spots before the holidays, as one in four children go missing abroad. The information campaign will be played on NRJ and Nostalgie. The advert opens with a panicked call in a foreign language (German, English or Spanish), followed by the comment “Whichever country you’re from, the emotions are the same when you lose a child. Same emotions, same number: one one six, zero zero zero. A single number for the whole of Europe”.
“Having a telephone number that’s accessible from 29 countries, that’s also easy to remember, is extremely important. It means the relevant authorities can act straight away”, explains Delphine Moralis, General Secretary of Missing Children Europe.
Even though the hours following a disappearance are vital, the call centre also offers support to parents or children in distress.
According to Missing Children Europe, nearly 250,000 children are reported missing in Europe every year. That’s one child every two minutes. 2 cases in 5 are kidnappings. About half of calls to the 116 000 help number are about runaways.
Child Focus, Missing Children Europe’s Belgian partner, deals with 4 new missing child cases a day.
Jason Bennett (Source: Belga)