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IRIS 2010-4:1/38


National Warning System for Abducted or Missing Children

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Mariana Stoican

Journalist, Bucharest

Representatives of the Inspectoratul General al Poliţiei Române (General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police), the Ministerul Public (Public Prosecutor's Office) and the Centrul Român pentru Copii Dispăruţi şi Exploataţi Sexual (Romanian Centre for Missing and Sexually Abused Children - FOCUS) held a public meeting on 25 February 2010 in order to discuss how to implement the European project for national warning systems for abducted and missing children in Romania. Romanian broadcasters and the Direcţia pentru Apel Unic de Urgenţă „112“ (Office for the Single Emergency Number "112") are also involved in implementing the project.

The creation of a national early warning system is meant to make it possible to inform the public quickly about the abduction or disappearance of children so that any information can be communicated as early as possible to the responsible authorities via a mechanism specially devised for this purpose.

Under the draft plans for the introduction of such a warning mechanism, which are currently being debated, it is proposed that the police force in whose district a child has been abducted should, if there is good reason to suspect that the child's life is in danger, publish details of the child's surname, first name and age, as well as a basic description and photograph of the child and the date and place of his/her disappearance.

An e-mail address and free telephone number (112/116000) should be made available for the public to provide information. Public service and private television and radio stations will, working in partnership with the relevant authorities, broadcast information about the case at specified intervals (every three or six hours), press agencies will participate in search operations by publishing posters, while transport companies will display information leaflets on the streets and at railway stations, airports and underground stations. Internet service operators (via websites and electronic banners) and mobile phone companies (via SMS/MMS) may also participate in these search operations.

This project, funded to the tune of EUR 236,000 by the European Commission, will be co-funded by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (EUR 53,828) and the "FOCUS" Centre (EUR 6,000) and will be launched between January and December 2010.

Proiect: Sistemul naţional de alertă răpire/dispariţie gravă a unui copil RO
  Project for a national warning system for abducted or missing children