Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock co-authored the written declaration on developing an EU system for emergency cooperation in recovering missing children. The declaration is supported by the parents of missing Madeleine McCann.
Labour's Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee Arlene McCarthy MEP has amended telecoms law to legally compel Member States to implement the 116000 missing child hotline to speed up the vital response by national authorities wherever a child goes missing.
GLENYS KINNOCK MEP, co-author of the declaration, said:
"Across Europe, every year some 130,000 children go missing. We know that the sooner information on these missing children reaches the public, the higher the possibility of tracing them. That is why I co-authored these proposals for an EU-wide missing child alert system.
"The system works - in America a similar scheme has recovered more than 400 children since 2003 - 80% in the crucial first 72 hours."
ARLENE McCARTHY MEP said:
"One year after its introduction only six member states have established the European 116000 hotline number for missing children.
"The voluntary approach is not working and that is why Labour's amendment legally obliges Member States to establish and promote the 116000 missing child hotline in all 27 EU Member States."
GLENYS and ARLENE added:
"MEPs' backing for Labour's proposals means we are a step closer to ensuring that children who go missing in Europe will have the best chance of being recovered."
For more information please contact either Lisa Stevens at the Labour European Office on 029 2022 7654 or the European Parliamentary Labour Party Secretary General, Giampi Alhadeff on +44 7809 411 696
European Parliamentary Labour Party, European Parliament, Rue Wiertz, 1047 BRUSSELS, Belgium
Notes to editors
- A majority of the Members of the European Parliament have now given their backing to the proposals, which will be sent to European governments to take action on several key recommendations. They include:
- Introducing cooperation agreements between bordering countries.
- Ensuring enhanced coordination between regional authorities and the media - with immediate TV and radio alerts and SMS and email messages.
- A special alert telephone number across all EU countries.
- A central body to provide assistance and training to national bodies.
- In February 2007 European Commission Decision 2007/116/EC was taken, designating the number 116000 as a hotline number for missing children. Disappointingly only a small number of Member States (6) have since established such a hotline on this number. It is therefore necessary to require Member States to ensure such a service is established and promoted.
- The amendment by Arlene McCarthy, adopted unanimously by the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee in its report on new legislation for users' rights in telecoms, would make it compulsory for Member States to provide an operational 116000 missing child hotline.
- To view the written declaration on emergency cooperation in recovering missing children see: https://webmail.europarl.europa.eu/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML%2BWDECL%2BP6-DCL-2008-0036%2B0%2BDOC%2BPDF%2BV0//EN%26language=EN