Study on missing children in the EU


European Commission-DG Justice,Freedom & Security

Status: completed
Year: 2012-2013

Study on missing children: Mapping, data collection and statistics on missing children in the Europe

Ecorys undertakes a study on missing children in the European Union for the JUSTICE Directorate-general of the European Commission. The outcomes of the study should help improve the mechanisms involved when children go missing in the 27 EU Member States. The study comes at a time when there is already considerable momentum to address child vulnerability across Europe. With greater freedom of movement within Europe and changing patterns of migration to and within the European Union, the movements of children and families are more fluid than ever before, generating a need to analyse and address child disappearances also  in a European context. In this context, the harmonised services of the 116 000 hotline for missing children and the promotion of efficient child abduction alert mechanisms in the EU are already contributing to improving the mechanisms, however there remains a significant lack of reliable, comparable, and official data on the situation in the Member States, which is a serious obstacle to the further development and implementation of evidence-based policies to address the issue.

Ecorys will use and build on existing data to obtain comparable data and indicators on missing children covering the period 2008-2010 (and 2011 where available). The findings will be used to identify good practices and recommendations for the benefit of the Member States and to optimise cooperation between Member States in cases of missing children. For this project, Ecorys will work with various child rights organisations and national experts, including the UNICEF Chair in Children’s Rights and the University of Leiden. The study runs from July 2012 until June 2013. The team for this study is characterised by longstanding academic and practical expertise related to missing children, youth runaways, indicators and data collection and analysis in the social and justice fields. Ecorys has previously worked on related studies, such as a study on the typology and policy responses to child begging in the EU.

For more information please contact Alessandra Cancedda.