European Countries Pledge to Do More to Help Missing Children
Nine European countries have signed an agreement to work closely together to help find missing children taken across national borders. The joint declaration was signed in November 2016 by Ministers of Interior Affairs from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
“When a child goes missing, quick and effective cross-border information exchange between national law enforcement authorities and other expert bodies is therefore crucial,” said Milan Chovanec, Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic. “Since every endangered missing child deserves an equal chance of being found as quickly as possible, this must not be inhibited by them crossing borders.”
AMBER Alert Europe was involved with the agreement, which includes law enforcement agencies from each country sharing more information, while also seeking public assistance across countries to help find missing children.
Switzerland Shares AMBER Alert Tips with AMBER Alert Europe
At an August 12, 2016, meeting the Switzerland Federal Police shared best practices to protect missing children with AMBER Alert Europe. These best practices included a 5-point plan.
- A bigger, stronger AMBER Alert network
- More flexibility in issuing child alerts
- Better cross-border information sharing
- Better cross-border police cooperation
- Improving the identification and protection of children at borders
The plan is supported by a majority of the 465 members of the European Parliament.
German Parliament Members Want AMBER Alerts in All European Countries
A group of 35 German members of the European parliament are calling upon all European countries to have an AMBER Alert program. Currently, 17 of the 28 countries of the European Union have child abduction alert plans.
“To save missing children it is crucial to act immediately, every minute counts,” said German Parliament Member Bernd Kölmel. “German citizens need to be informed as soon as possible via all available media. It is absolutely necessary that Germany builds a modern, digital AMBER Alert system.”
So far just 8 European countries have issued at least one an AMBER Alert.
Fundraising Efforts Started for Canadian Mother of Murdered Child
Several fundraising efforts are underway for the mother of a 7-year-old girl who was found murdered after an AMBER Alert went out in Saskatchewan, Canada. Nia Eastman’s body was found on November 10, 2016, hours after her father was found dead of self-inflicted injuries. A crowdfunding page has been started and a local co-op is collection donations and cards for Nia’s mother. A memorial has also been set up at the house where the victim’s body was found in Choiceland.