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What do we mean by “missing children”?
1. Runaways (National / International)
Minors who run away from home, from the people responsible for their care or from the institution where they have been placed.
2. Abduction by a third person
Abductions of minors by anyone other than the parents or persons with parental authority.
3. International parental abduction
Cases where a child is taken away to, or kept in, a country or place other than that of its normal residence by one or more of his/her parents or persons having parental authority against the other parent’s will or against the will of the person with parental authority.
4. Missing unaccompanied migrant minors
Disappearances of migrant children, nationals of a country with which there is no free movement of persons, under the age of 18 who have been separated from both parents and are not being cared for by an adult, who by law is responsible for doing so.
5. Lost, injured or otherwise missing children
Disappearances for no apparent reasons of minors who have got lost (e.g. little children at the seaside in summer) or who have been injured and cannot be found immediately (e.g. accidents during sport activities, at youth camps, etc.), as well as children whose reason for disappearing has not yet been determined.
What to do if my child is missing?
- Go to the last place you saw him/her or to a place where he/she might think to go.
- Contact the local police (call 112 or 0900-8844) so that they can immediately start the investigation.
- Contact the 116000 Hotline for any information, help or support.
What is the difference between the 116000 Hotline and the police?
The 116000 Hotline is the European Telephone Number for Missing Children. The hotline operates in 16 EU Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and the United Kingdom. The Centre IKO is responsible for the implementation of the 116000 Hotline in the Netherlands. The employees of the Centre IKO are trained to offer support to parents of missing children, to receive meaningful information from the public on a missing child and to contact the appropriate authorities in each individual case. They work closely with local police.
Who is the 116000 Hotline directed to?
The 116000 Hotline is directed to parents, children and the general public. The people that answer the telephone calls are trained professionals who are there to support and assist the families, the victims and the authorities. The 116000 Hotline is especially useful to travelling parents and children as the people answering the call will help to direct them to the appropriate authorities within the residing country. The 116000 Hotline provides a safety net when parents and children travel within Europe for holidays, for work or for other reasons. The 116000 Hotline assures children and parents in Europe that help is only a telephone call away.
How does the 116000 Hotline work?
When parents realise that their child has gone missing, often they panic. Panic is heightened if they are in a foreign country, are away from their family and friends and people that can help them and do not know from whom to seek assistance. By calling the 116000 Hotline, they will be in immediate contact with the organisation offering support and assistance in cases of child disappearance in the country. In the Netherlands the Centre IKO is responsible for the 116000 Hotline. When you dial 116000 in the Netherlands an employee of the Centre IKO will answer your call. This employee will assist you. All calls are confidential. The employee is subject to Dutch privacy and data protection legislation. The Centre IKO is open from 09.30 a.m. until 04.30 p.m. Dutch time. The Centre IKO is closed in weekends and on national days of celebration. The Centre IKO is in urgent matters 24 hours a day available.
In which EU member states is the 116000 Hotline operating?
The hotline operates in 27 of the 28 Member States and in two Non-EU member states: Albania (Not an EU-Member country), Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia (Not an EU-member country), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Since September 2008 the Centre IKO is responsible for the implementation of the 116000 Hotline in the Netherlands.
Who answers the calls?
When calling the 116000 Hotline in the Netherlands an employee of the Centre IKO will answer your call. They will provide the necessary psychological and legal support. Furthermore they will provide assistance in contacting the appropriate authorities and taking whatever steps are necessary to find the child.
If my child goes missing, shouldn’t I call the police?
The 116000 Hotline and the Centre IKO are not there to replace the police. However, when people are in a foreign country they may not speak the local language, do not know the telephone numbers of local authorities and are often at a loss about what to do. The employees of the Centre IKO are trained to assist people in such a situation. They will ensure that you are put into contact with the police and any other agencies that might be necessary.
Is it only parents who are supposed to call the 116000 Hotline?
No, children who have run away, who are lost or for some other reason are not with their parents will get immediate help if they call the 116000 Hotline. They will know that it is safe to speak to an employee of the Centre IKO who answers the call and that they will be provided with whatever assistance they need. You might also call the 116000 Hotline if you have seen a child that is reported missing.
What should I do if I have information on a missing child but I don’t want to get involved?
Anyone in the public with information on a missing child is invited to call the 116000 Hotline. Information will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for investigation. The caller can stay anonymous. All the calls are confidential.
Are all the calls confidential?
All the telephone calls, contacts and advices are strictly confidential. Information will not be shared with third parties with out permission of the person who has called. The employee is subject to Dutch privacy and data protection legislation.
How can I help?
- Visit regularly the website of www.politie.nl/en/wanted-and-missing/missing-children in the Netherlands. This way you are aware of current disappearances.
- If you have some information about a missing child, pass it on to the 116000 Hotline.
- You may want to receive a Amber Alert, you may subscribe yourself at Amber Alert. After subscribing you will receive an Amber Alert when a child has gone missing.