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Germany joins European Child Alert platform, allowing swift dissemination of AMBER Alerts across the border

Date

04 Oct 2013

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Initiative Vermisste Kinder joins citizen sourcing platform AMBER Alert Europe; 2.5 million EU citizens now on the lookout for missing and abducted children

Initiative Vermisste Kinder, Germany’s largest missing children organization, has joined AMBER Alert Europe, the Europe-wide child rescue alert platform. AMBER Alert Europe is dedicated to saving the life of missing and abducted children by alerting as many EU citizens in the area. As quickly as possible. And regardless of language or national borders.

AMBER Alert Netherlands is founding member of AMBER Alert Europe. Initiative Vermisste Kinder joining AMBER Alert Europe therefore is a next step in formalizing earlier ad-hoc cooperation between Germany and the Netherlands in the field of child alerting where Dutch AMBER Alerts were also disseminated in Germany by Initiative Vermisste Kinder. The first time this was done, was for two missing brothers who were last seen near the border. In order to find the two small boys, citizens even organized search parties on both sides of the border. The second time was when an AMBER Alert was issued for a 4-year old boy from Groningen, only 30 minutes away from the German border. Thanks to a tip that came in on the AMBER Alert, the boy was found less than two hours after the AMBER Alert was issued.

What does AMBER Alert Europe do?

  • Alerting all EU citizens in a certain area - using SMS text messages, email, social media (Twitter, Facebook), smartphone apps, pc pop ups and screensavers, website pop ups, highway signs, TV and radio, digital signs & advertising screens;
  • The Google Child Alert & missing children map - on the AMBER Alert Europe website, there is a Google map with all endangered missing children and active AMBER Alerts* in Europe. On the website of its members in the Netherlands and Germany, a similar Google map of endangered missing children shows the missing children in those countries;
  • Helping link and strengthen existing Child Alert initiatives and enable countries without a Child Alert system to create one - to ensure that the search continues when a child is taken across a (national or language) border.

Initiative Vermisste Kinder is the organization behind the ‘Deutschland findet euch’ campaign, mobilizing almost two hundred thousand people on Facebook alone. Lars Bruhns, president of the Initiative Vermisste Kinder: “We teamed up with AMBER Alert Europe because if we all work together, AMBER Alerts can save lives. By ensuring millions of people are on the lookout for a child minutes after it has been taken. And when it disappears close to a border, people on either side of the border should be alerted. After all, child abductors do not stop at the border. Neither should an AMBER Alert.”

“We really focus on saving lives. Those initial hours after a child goes missing are crucial. US research shows that in 76 percent of child abduction murders, the victim was killed within 3 hours. The more people are on the lookout for a child in those first hours, the bigger the chance someone sees the child in time to save its life. Together, Germany and the Netherlands have close to 100 million inhabitants. That is 100 million possible heroes. People that can save the life of a missing child, by being on the lookout. All they need to do is register to receive AMBER Alerts, as 2 million people have done already,” adds Frank Hoen, founder of AMBER Alert Europe.

Founding member of the AMBER Alert Europe initiative is AMBER Alert Netherlands. Close to 2 million people registered to receive AMBER Alerts and information on missing children in the Netherlands. “Germany and the Netherlands are two of the most interconnected countries in the world, sharing 577 kilometers of border. To go from Arnhem to Düsseldorf only takes a child abductor 90 minutes. We need to make sure that in the future it takes a child alert 90 seconds to be issued in the entire region – in German and in Dutch, and on both sides of the border,” says Viviane Kusters-Brokerhof, spokesperson for AMBER Alert Netherlands.

Want to be a hero too? Register via www.amberalert.eu or one of the member sites (www.amberalertnederland.nl or http://www.vermisste-kinder.de), to receive an alert when a child goes missing or is abducted. Via any type of media - from TV, radio, smartphone & iPad apps, Facebook, Twitter, SMS, email, and other mass media platforms.

*Some countries use an alternate name for these kind of alerts, such as Child Alerts, Child Rescue Alerts and Alerte Enlevements

 

NOTE TO THE EDITORS, NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Press information and photography on the topic can be found on the website: www.amberalert.eu/press.aspx

 

About Initiative Vermisste Kinder

Initiative Vermisste Kinder is the largest missing children organization in Germany. The organization offers support to parents and family when a child goes missing and helps the search for the child. Together with its partner organizations Initiative Vermisste Kinder uses billboards, social media, SMS and email to inform people on missing children. They recently launched a Google map with missing children and AMBER Alerts (child alerts). The organization also hosts the 116 000 number in Germany. This European hotline for missing children is an initiative of Missing Children Europe.

 

About AMBER Alert Europe

The aim of AMBER Alert Europe is to rescue children during the first hours after their abduction or after becoming the victim of human trafficking. On the amberalert.eu website, you can see which children are missing in your country through the Google Child Alert and endangered missing children map.

People that want to help turn the AMBER Alert Europe platform into a real lifesaver in all EU member states, can register to receive free alerts and the be updated on the latest child rescue alert developments in their country on www.amberalert.eu

Questions?

Please contact the AMBER Alert Europe Press office:

Email: press@amberalert.eu

Phone: +32 2 808 2159

 

 

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