116 000 is a European free-phone number that provides immediate life saving support when children go missing. It is active in 22 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom. The hotline is also available in Serbia.
Calls are answered locally by trained and professional staff from organizations specializing in dealing with cases of missing children by providing psychological, administrative and legal advice, as required.
A European wide number was reserved by the European Commission for a variety of reasons. First the phenomenon of missing children is becoming increasingly a cross-border problem as the Schengen area is expanding. Secondly swift action in case of disappearance is of vital importance, as a report from the United States' Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention suggests that 76.2% of children who are murdered after having been abducted are dead within three hours of disappearance. Furthermore parents need the support of an organization specialized in dealing with these cases. And finally there is a need to communicate about a missing child beyond national borders.
On 15 February 2007 the European Commission recognized the need for such a Europe-wide effort and published a document requesting the member states to reserve 116 000 as the number for missing children.
On 25 May 2009 the number was launched in nine member states of Missing Children Europe. It is expected that other Member States will also implement the number, as implementation takes place at a national level.
- 116 000 - The European hotline number for missing children - Frequently asked questions
- Resolución SETSI, 31 March/2010
- "Un téléphone unique européen : le 116 000". Nouvelobs (in French). 25 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- Brown, Katherine M.; Robert D. Keppel; Joseph G. Weis; Marvin E. Skeen (May 2006). "CASE MANAGEMENT for Missing Children Homicide Investigation" (PDF). National Criminal Justice Service (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice). p. 13. Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- Commission Decision 2007/116/EC
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