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Data on missing children in the EU? Developing evidence-based child-friendly policies EC Forum on the Rights of the Child Brussels, 23 November 2011 Alexandra.

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Presentation on theme: "Data on missing children in the EU? Developing evidence-based child-friendly policies EC Forum on the Rights of the Child Brussels, 23 November 2011 Alexandra."— Presentation transcript:

1 Data on missing children in the EU? Developing evidence-based child-friendly policies EC Forum on the Rights of the Child Brussels, 23 November 2011 Alexandra Simoes, Board member Delphine Moralis, Deputy Secretary General

2 Missing Children Europe Missing children data: background –2001 Council Resolution –A first epidemiological overview Recent attempts to collect data on missing children –MCE members caseload –Runaways: definitions & data – hotlines for missing children Next steps –Developing a harmonised Client Relationship Management & Data- collection System Some conclusions Overview of the presentation

3 European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children 23 NGOs from 16 EU MS + Switzerland Grassroots support to families and children in cases of child disapperance and / or sexual exploitation Missing Children Europe

4 Council Resolution on the contribution of civil society in finding missing or sexually exploited children (2001): Provided following categories of disappearance and abduction: –runaway children, –children abducted by a third party, –children missing inexplicably. Suggested that Member States (..) compile all data on missing or sexually exploited children in order to ascertain the extent of the phenomenon and analyse its trends, and to exchange such data with one another. –by the competent authorities, –with the support of civil society organisations. Missing children data: background

5 Council Resolution (2001) cond: Suggested that Commission to have a study drawn up on the actual extent of the phenomenon of missing or sexually exploited children A first epidemiological overview: Missing and sexually exploited children in the EU. Epidemiological data. References: 1.G. Vermeulen & H. De Pauw (ed.), Makklu, Antwerp-Apeldoorn, 2003 (15 MS) 2.G. Vermeulen, Makklu, Antwerp-Apeldoorn, 2003 (10 MS) –Child Focus and IRCP Ghent University: Childoscope –More info at

6 Missing children data: background First epidemiological overview (contd) Importance of EU-wide multidisciplinary &integrated efforts in collecting data as a basis for policy-making Country report for each MS including –Definitional information –Outline of the way data collection is organised by actors –Available data on the basis of EU project definitions A final, comparative report EU wide report Conclusions: 1.D ata collection is organised in a very chaotic and poor fashion 2.Identification of weaknesses & shortcomings of data collection methods 3.Recommendations for both Member States and EU

7 Since 2007: Annual attempt to collect data on caseload from members of Missing Children Europe: -Definitions developed from the research definitions of the Childoscope project (cf. supra), in term based on: »(Inter)national legislation »Existing practices among NGOs -Covering: -Runaways -Parental abductions -Missing unaccompanied migrant minors -Lost injured or otherwise missing children -Criminal abductions Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: 1. MCE members caseload

8 -Challenges include: -Terminology -Data collection models used (cases, children, closure, …) -Definitions themselves: -Runaways (« voluntary ») -«International» parental abductions -Missing, unaccompanied «migrant» minors Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: 1. MCE members caseload

9 2010: Survey on availability of definitions & data on runaways across the EU Method: Questionnaires were completed by representatives of Government in 19 Member States. Telephone interviews were conducted with representatives of NGOs in 11 Member States A total of 21 Member States cooperated with the research. Focus: Definitions, data, policies & services Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: 2. Runaways: definitions & data

10 Problems with definitions -Children often not reported as missing / most at risk -Definitions not child centred – tend to be focused on law enforcement -No definitions, no data, no policies & services - Key findings regarding definitions on runaways

11 Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: 2. Runaways: definitions & data - Key findings regarding data on runaways Problems with data Data variations Difference in reporting thresholds Difference in recording practices Difference in definitions NGO & government estimates differ Lack of data concerning specific scenarios Children running from care Children who are hurt or harmed Migrant children and trafficked children No definitions, no data, no policies & services

12 : minimum quality standard & procedures for cross-border cooperation among hotlines Mapping of practices of hotlines through interviews (manager & hotline operator) -Increased understanding of services provided by hotlines -Confirmation of proportion of different categories of cases dealt with by hotlines Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: hotlines for missing children

13 Services provided by hotlines: Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: hotlines for missing children

14 Proportion of categories / cases managed: Recent attempts to collect data on missing children: hotlines for missing children

15 2012 – 2014: New project in the pipeline Objectives : –Harmonise service provided by hotlines –Improve cooperation in cross-border cases –Enhance the collection of comparable data Key deliverable envisaged to achieve objective: -> Software for NGOs allowing to: Record, process & manage case information in a harmonised way Collect comparable quantitative data Share operational information in cross-border cases Next steps: Client relationship management & data collection system

16 1.Little improvement since 2001 –Data collection still poor, chaotic, uncomparable 2.Key challenges include: –Multitude of stakeholders: LE, NGOs, Social services, shelters, … –Challenges related to definitions –Reporting practices & thresholds 3. Hotlines for missing children = interesting entry for data –National focal point for all cases of missing children –Working in cooperation with law enforcement 4. Possible indicators could include: –Availability of hotline, services provided through hotline, staff available, resources for communication on hotline, … Some conclusions

17 With the support of the European Commission, Daphne Programme Sole responsibility lies with MCE Further information


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