Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Statement by Vice-Presidents Viviane Reding and Neelie Kroes on International Missing Children's Day

European Commission - MEMO/12/378   25/05/2012

Other available languages: none

MEMO/12/378

Brussels, 25 May 2012

Statement by Vice-Presidents Viviane Reding and Neelie Kroes on International Missing Children's Day

European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner said: "The International Day of Missing Children is essential to draw attention to the plight of all missing children and their loved ones. As every year, the European Commission is supporting the International Day to make sure we remember children who have gone missing, today and on every other day of the year. As families and children travel more and more within the European Union, we need phone numbers that are known by everyone and are the same whether you are calling from your home in Austria or your holiday destination in Spain."

She added: "In 2012, the European Commission made €3.6 million funding available for the proper set-up and functioning of 116000 hotlines and child abduction alert mechanisms. Despite the funding boost, progress is far too slow: 10 Member States do not yet have an operational 116000 hotline. On 22 May, Vice-President Kroes and I wrote to these Member States to call on them to make the 116 000 hotline operational as soon as possible. This hotline can save lives. Member States should take the matter seriously."

Vice-President Neelie Kroes, responsible for the Digital Agenda added: "I urge every parent or carer to keep the number 116 000 within reach. 82% of Europeans have never heard of this life-saving 116 initiative. That is a shame that national governments must work with the European Commission to fix, to make Europe a safer place for all children."

Background

To mark International Missing Children Day, give a boost to the speedy and efficient implementation of the 116 000 hotline and child abduction alert mechanisms in all Member States, the Commission is organising a high-level Conference on "Missing Children: closing the gaps: 116000 hotlines and child abduction alert mechanisms". The conference, organised in cooperation with Missing Children Europe, will be held on 30 May in Brussels.

On 17 November 2010, the Commission adopted a report on the EU-wide emergency number for missing children (see IP/10/1513). In the report, "Dial 116 000: European hotline for missing children," the Commission renewed its call to Member States to implement the 116 000 hotline as a matter of priority. This was reiterated in the EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child, adopted on 15 February 2011 (see IP/11/156).

In response to the European Commission's funding offer for missing children hotlines, €1.9 million has now been allocated to organisations in 14 Member States (BE, BG, CY, DK, EE, ES, HU, IE, IT, NL, PL, RO, SK, UK) out of which 4 new hotlines will be launched in BG, CY, IE and UK, while funding for the other 10 will be used to considerably improve the quality of the service. A second call was launched with a deadline for applications of 22 May 2012, to allow other Member States to profit from the remaining €1.1m funding available in 2012.

Finally, the Commission also made €600,000 available towards the establishment of child abduction alert mechanisms, funds which will be awarded to Member States by the end of 2012.

In 2011 the Commission also forged a strong coalition with telecommunications operators (via GSM Association) to increase and streamline publicity for 116 000 services in 14 Member States (over 250 million citizens). 2012 actions will include web publicity, text messages and informing subscribers through their bills. For example, the mobile operators Proximus and Base already installed 116000 among the default numbers of its SIM toolkits. Many Europe-wide operators, such as Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telenor and Vodafone, agreed to raise awareness through their local affiliates in more than one Member State, while Mobistar, TDC Denmark, Telekom Austria, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, Telia Sonera and Wind Hellas will promote 116 000 in their domestic markets through a diverse range of actions.

In April 2012, the Commission also launched a new 116 website to boost awareness of 116 000 and related services:

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/116/index_en.htm

For more information

Missing Children Europe website:

http://www.missingchildreneurope.eu/

Awareness raising video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76fbvCULwrQ

European Commission - Children's rights

http://ec.europa.eu/justice/fundamental-rights/rights-child/hotline/index_en.htm

ANNEX

State of implementation of the 116 000 in the Member States

The 116000 hotline is currently operational in 17 Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Member State

116000

116000

116000

Assigned

Operational since

Assigned to or operated by

Austria

Yes

 

Österreichischer Rundfunk/Rat auf Draht

Belgium

Yes

May 2009

Child FOCUS

Bulgaria

Yes

 

Tsentar Nadya

Cyprus

Yes

 

Hope for Children/UNCRC Policy Center

Czech Republic

Yes

 

Denmark

Yes

February 2009

TDC (Thora Center)

Estonia

Yes

January 2011 

Ministry of Social Affairs

Finland

 No

 

France

Yes

May
2009

INAVEM Fédération nationale d'aide aux victimes; Fondation pour l'Enfance (FPE)

Germany

Yes 

August 2011

Initiative Vermisste Kinder

Greece

Yes

October 2008

The Smile of the Child

Hungary

Yes

June
2008

Kék Vonal

Ireland

 Yes

 

Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

Italy

Yes

May
2009

Telefono Azzuro

Latvia

No

 

Lithuania

No 

 

Luxembourg

Yes

 

Office National de l'Enfance

Malta

Yes

December 2010 

Malta Police Force

Netherlands

Yes

September 2008

Stichting de Ombudsman

Poland

Yes

March
2009

Telekomunikacja Polska S.A. (ITAKA – Centre for Missing People)

Portugal

Yes

September 2007

Instituto de Apoio à Criança

Romania

Yes

May
2009

Rometelecom (Romanian Center for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children)

Slovakia

Yes

May
2009

Orange SK (Slovak Board of UNICEF)

Slovenia

Yes 

June 2011

ZDRUŽENJE POLICISTOV SLOVENIJE – transferred to zAVOD

Spain

Yes

September 2010

Fundación ANAR

Sweden

Yes

 

SOS Alarm

United Kingdom1

Yes

July 2010

Charity Missing People

1 :

In United Kingdom the hotline is partially operational


Side Bar

My account

Manage your searches and email notifications


Help us improve our website