Every 2 Minutes A Child Disappears in Europe - 250,000 children are reported missing annually

In Europe, an astonishing 250,000 children are reported missing annually – that’s equivalent to one child disappearing every two minutes.  

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Heart-wrenching stories

Behind each statistic lies a heart-wrenching story of a missing child, leaving a profound impact on their families and communities.

Amidst this challenging landscape, the 116000 hotlines have emerged as a vital lifeline for those in need. These hotlines, operated by member NGOs within the Missing Children Europe network, stand as a beacon of hope, offering crucial support and help to families and children facing the unimaginable. Available 24/7, the hotlines offer a wide range of services, including mental health support, legal advice, and social resources, ensuring that no family or child feels alone on their journey. 

When a child goes missing, this can be a red flag for abuse.

Violence, conflict and abuse are key underlying causes of children running away from home, care, or reception centres. Grooming for sexual or criminal exploitation is a growing problem, particularly online, and is increasingly leading to child disappearances. Child Sexual Abuse and exploitation

Abuse and exploitation can also follow when a child goes missing (particularly in the case of runaways and missing children in migration). Europol has worrying intelligence that trafficking networks are increasingly taken advantage of children going missing in migration to exploit them.

International Missing Children’s Day

Every year, on May 25th, the world comes together to commemorate International Missing Children’s Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about the alarming issue of missing children and offering hope to their families. On this day, Missing Children Europe calls the EU and Member States to action to combat online grooming leading to missing and to ensure the continuity of the 116000 hotlines supporting missing children and their families.

Sources/Reference: Missingchildreneurope.eu

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