The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
SAFE project hosts its 2nd Meeting and discusses on the improvement of cooperation in the field of Missing Children
The meeting took place on 12 October in Athens and participants discussed on the next steps of the project SAFE - “Sustainable Alliance for Missing Children in Greece-”. ‘The project is coordinated by ‘The Smile of the Child’ and is financed by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union.
Scientific personnel of the Operational Center of ‘The Smile of the Child’ where the European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000 and the activation of Amber Alert Hellas are coordinated, volunteers of the Search and Rescue Team “Thanassis Makris”, representatives of the Hellenic Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration, the Department of Public Security and Missing Persons’ Unit of the Hellenic Police, the Coast Guard and the Fire Brigade were among the participants of the meeting.
More specifically, participants discussed on the results of a questionnaire survey conducted the previous months with the goal to map the needs of training and education of the actors involved in the field of missing children. The project aims to cover these gaps and need through the organization of educational seminars in the months to come.
Emphasis was put on critical parameters in the search and rescue of missing children such as the management of the cases, the division of tasks, the effectiveness in the process of data collection and the necessary provision of psychosocial support to families with missing children.
In addition, participants highlighted the practical difficulties on the case of missing refugee and migrant minors as well as the special characteristics of these cases. “The Smile of the Child” highlighted the importance to handle these incidents on an equal basis treating all missing children as children first and foremost and turned attention to the issue of underreporting of these incidents.
The meeting gave the opportunity to the participants to exchange their practices, procedures and tools used in the missing children case, whereas they all agreed on the need to conduct educational seminars in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras based on the identified needs.
The main aim of these seminars will be to improve the cooperation among the actors involved, facilitate the exchange of practices and knowledge, update the procedures and official protocols and improve the inter-agency cooperation in the field.
The project will develop within a 24 months period and aims to foster the development, expansion and improvement of the provided services of the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000. The actions of the project include among others the creation of educational material, the conduct of seminars and actions of awareness and information about the serious problem of missing children.