Miriam Dalli & Roberta Metsola support declaration in aid of missing children
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Every year some 250,000 children are reported missing in Europe, and in cases of abduction, three out of every four children (76%) are killed within three hours of their kidnapping.
Unfortunately, the search for missing children often stops at the internal borders of EU Member States and does not go any further.
In view of this situation, Maltese MEPs Miriam Dalli and Roberta Metsola have authored a written declaration on the issue together with several other Members of the European Parliament. They are calling for improved alert mechanisms, as well as better cooperation between Member States' emergency mechanisms, in order to ensure that missing children are rescued as quickly as possible.
"Children and their interests are a priority in my political work. We need to continue working to protect children in every way possible, and we need to do all we can to give them a better life. As MEPs, our goal was to try to ensure that we have a system in place that can protect as many children as possible. I am pleased that the majority of MEPs have given their support on this matter," stated Dr Dalli.
Roberta Metsola said that, "children are at the heart of our policies, both as a Party on a national level, as well as on a European level. Children's well-being, in all circumstances, requires extensive work and dedication from all those involved. This initiative, which calls for broad cooperation between Member States, should lead to significant progress in the fight against the abduction, trafficking and murder of children. This is why I have given my full support to this initiative, both as an MEP and as a mother. This is another clear example of the importance and benefit of cooperation and understanding between Member States."
By means of this written declaration, MEPs are asking the European Council and the European Commission to implement a five-point plan proposed by AMBER Alert Europe (the European Child Rescue Alert and Police Network on Missing Children).
The European Commission is called upon to make every effort to encourage practices whereby when a child is at risk in a border area, or law enforcement agencies suspect that the child has crossed an internal border, law enforcement agencies, border authorities and the public in the other country are informed immediately.
This declaration has so far been signed by 454 MEPs and will remain open until 9 May.
Roberta Metsola and Miriam Dalli called on all MEPs to support the initiative.