Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 259

25th of May: International Missing Children’s Day

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 maggio 2019

“The Smile of the Child”, for the 16th consecutive year, on the occasion of the 25th of May – International Missing Children’s Day, organized a dedicated event on the new actions, initiatives and synergies for the prevention and tackling of cases of missing children, as well as persons that belong to vulnerable and high-risk groups. The event was moderated by journalist Mrs. Alexandra Kapelentzi.According to the official statistics of “The Smile of the Child”, 191 children were reported missing and were being searched for in 2018, while the Amber Alert Hellas mechanism was activated 11 times. Respectively, within the period from January to April 2019, 37 children were reported missing and were being searched for, while Amber Alert was activated on 2 occasions. According to the data of the Hellenic Police, presented by Mr. Nikolaos Zervakakos, Head of the Missing Persons’ Subdivision of the Hellenic Police, from 1/1/2018 to 11/5/2019 299 cases of missing children and 1.514 cases of missing unaccompanied children were handled.
At the opening of the meeting a short addresses were extended by Mrs. Xeni Dimitriou Vasilopoulou, Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Mr. Nikolaos Manios, MP, Mrs. Anthoula Mpoumpa, Head of the Piraeus Prosecutor’s Office, Mr. Lucian Fătu, Ambassador of Romania (Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU), Mrs. Iveta Hricova, Ambassador of Slovakia (Slovak 2019 OSCE Chairmanship), Mr. Georgios Kastanis, Head of the Security Division of the Hellenic Police, Mr. Thomas Stavroathanasopoulos, Captain, Hellenic National Defense General Staff, Mrs. Maria Papamichail, Colonel, Hellenic Army General Staff, and Mr. Aristeidis Kalovredis, Battalion Chief, Hellenic Fire Brigade. Short addresses were also extended by Mr. Panagiotis Vasilakis, Head of the Security Division of the Omonoia Police Station, Athens, Mr. Stuart Kenny, President of the National Search and Rescue Dog Association (NSARDA), while a recorded message from Mr. Paul Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer of International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) was screened.
The new innovative programme of Missing Alert was presented during the event, an initiative that will be implemented by the Organization based on the model of Amber Alert Hellas for the prevention and tackling of cases of missing persons that belong to vulnerable and high-risk groups. The aim of this initiative is to provide specialized protection to persons that run a risk of going missing (for example due to a mental disorder, psychological problems etc.), missing persons following an accident or a natural disaster, or persons with serious health problems in need of constant medical/pharmaceutical support.In addition, in the context of new tools and technological means, whose utilization is made possible by “The Smile of the Child” thanks to the cooperation of international organizations, technology leading companies on a worldwide level, as well as companies and organizations in Greece, the following tools were presented:
● The Missing Alert App with the kind support of COSMOTE
● The Child Rescue programme, with the participation of 10 organizations from 6 EU Member States and the coordination of the National Technical University of Athens
● The GMCNgine and the FIA Missing Child Alert of the Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN)
● The Chat App of the SOS 1056 hotline implemented with the kind support of the National Bank of Greece.
In addition, the new members of the Amber Alert Hellas were presented with the participation of DHL Express, the Greek Amateurs Radio Association and the new members of the Search and Rescue Team “Thanasis Makris”. In the outdoor facilities of the venue, the logistical and technical means at the disposal of missing children were presented, including among others the Mobile Lab of Information, Education and Technology “Odysseas”, Mobile Medical Units (ambulances), rescue vehicles, bicycles, motorbikes, mobile generators, rescuers and volunteers, dog teams from across Greece, vehicles from the Fire Brigade, the Hellenic Police, Hellenic Army and the Coast Guard.Finally, young visitors from the private kindergarten “Lilipoupoli” had the opportunity to attend the presentation of a fairytale on the issue of child disappearances and pass their own unique message for the International Day.

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