"Clearly Europe has a lot to learn from the US and there has to be change in practice and legislation about how missing children are investigated. We will continue to campaign to effect change in Europe, in the hope that it will become a safer place for our children."
Leaving aside for the moment your comment about a safer place for our children, if you want to campaign for change in Europe, why not support an organisation that already exists and is campaigning for a Europe-wide approach to the problem? You really didn't need to go jetting off to the US. There is already an organisation which is affiliated to the Washington organisation which you visited.
Missing Children Europe is the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children. Missing Children Europe has 21 member NGOs from 15 countries of the EU. These 21 NGOs work every day to prevent and fight the sexual exploitation of children and assist parents and investigators confronted with the disappearance of a child.
As a platform regrouping these 21 NGOs, Missing Children Europe has as primary goals to:
- share good practices among the members,
- represent the members towards the European institutions,
- assure a European presence at the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington.
The disappearance and sexual exploitation of children is a global phenomenon, which touches an increasingly worrying but undefined number of children. A European and international approach is essential to tackle the problem efficiently.
See Gerry? A European and international approach. And what about this, Gerry?
"Assure a European presence at ICMEC
Missing Children Europe is the regional representative of the global mouvement of the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington."
And where this organisation is?
"Where we are
Missing Children Europe represents NGOs from 15 EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania and the United Kingdom.The General Secretariat of Missing Children Europe is based in Brussels."
So, even if you had wanted to go to the hub of the enterprise, Brussels is a bit closer to Portugal than is Washington. Missing Children Europe, as you will read above is the regional representative of the international centre based in Washington.
So, Gerry, since there is already a European campaign for Europe-wide change, why do you think it's necessary for you to set up some kind of separate campaign? Why not just support the existing work?
And, oh dear, Gerry! Making Europe a safer place for our children? So, they do things differently in the US, do they when parents leave their children alone in an unlocked apartment? What do they do? Have some kind of alarm system in every home, hotel room, holiday apartment etc, that lets you know when your children, whom you have left to fend for themselves, are being abducted? Maybe a red light flashes on your mobile phone while you're sitting there at dinner sending text messages?
Well, Gerry, just two bits of advice I'd like to share with you.
1) Children are generally much safer when they are not left alone. So, maybe that should be the basis of your campaign.
2) No need for your European campaign. Just contact Missing Children Europe who, I am sure, will appreciate your support, especially as you are so good at fund-raising and you do appear to have contacts in high places.
Here it is again, Gerry, just in case you missed it!
And Gerry, here's some good news for you, a way in which you can help, since you want to campaign for change in Europe. International Missing Children Day, May 25th.
Why not give some publicity to this organisation on your site, Gerry, just in case your readers don't know that there is already a Europe-based organisation for missing and exploited children, campaigning for that Europe-Wide approach?