Parents and Abducted Children Together

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Parents & Abducted Children Together (PACT) is an international non-profit organisation which specialises in fighting international child abduction and in helping law enforcement agencies find missing children.

Establishment and overview[edit]

Lady Catherine Meyer, CBE established PACT[1] in 2000, as an associate of the US-based International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children,[2] an organization she co-founded,[3] ICMEC is the international arm of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The charity's mission is to fight international child abduction by raising awareness, advocating solutions and helping to locate and retrieve missing children by working closely with police forces.[4]

PACT advocates the use of the Missing kids website[5] website by police forces in the UK. The website permits the instant dissemination of photographs and descriptions of missing children, together with details of the circumstances of their disappearance. Posters can also be downloaded from the site. The Missing kids website is part of a network of 16 other national websites which are linked to a global network with easy worldwide access. The technology includes a language translator and age progression techniques.[6]

PACT also advocates the adoption of the Child Rescue Alert[7] which has been successful in rescuing children who may be in grave danger. This system, first developed in the US as the Amber Alert, uses the media and electronic messaging on freeway/motorway gantries to alert the public to a child's disappearance and engage their help in the search and safe recovery of the child.[8]

PACT has campaigned[9] to enact legislation to change the way in which missing children are handled in the UK, the US and Europe.[10]

Partnerships[edit]

PACT has created commercial partnerships to raise public awareness and distribute posters of missing children. The British grocery chain Tesco has worked in partnership with PACT since 2000 by displaying posters of missing children in their stores throughout the UK.[11]

The engineering and management services corporation, Emcor (UK) entered a partnership in 2006 with PACT and NPIA (National Policing Improvement Agency) Missing Persons Bureau to bring to the UK its Taking KidSafety to the Street campaign.[12] Through this program, Emcor places posters of missing children in their offices, on their vehicles and major sites in the UK[13]

Documentary and research papers[edit]

PACT has produced three major studies and a documentary on the long-term effect of abduction and/or forcible separation on children.[14]

The documentary entitled “Victims of Another War: The Aftermath of Parental Alienation,” focuses on three victims of parental alienation and/or international parental kidnapping. Each individual describes the psychological impact of their experiences on both their childhood and adult lives.[15]

PACT's first research paper, Every Five Minutes" [1], was published in October 2005. It examined available data to try to establish how many children go missing in the UK every year and demonstrated that official statistics were unreliable or non-existent.

A Postcode Lottery, published in November 2006, mapped out for the first time, the plethora of different agencies in the UK and the significant variation in quality of the services they provide to missing children.

Beyond Every Five Minutes, published in November 2007, brought together PACT’s earlier reports, concluding that, with the response to the phenomenon of missing children so fragmented and disorganized, major rationalization on the American model, NCMEC was necessary.

Activities and announcements[edit]

On 5 October 2005, Lady Catherine Meyer spoke at ICMEC to launch PACT's documentary “Victims of Another War: The Aftermath of Parental Alienation.”[16] It was then screened in England at the Lewis Centre before a large audience.

On 3 January 2006, UK newspaper The Sun joined with PACT’s call for the government to improve the gathering of statistics on missing and abducted children. The newspaper article featured ten children who had gone missing and asked readers to call the Police Missing Person’s Hotline if they saw anyone remotely resembling the children.[17]

In August 2007, Missing People and PACT wrote to Tony McNulty MP (Minister of State at the Home Office) to highlight the serious limitations in the department's annual statistical series ‘’Crime in England and Wales’’. The organizations highlighted that Home Office statistics on child abduction have two major flaws. First, they fail to distinguish between different types of child abduction, such as by strangers or parents, or attempted or completed abductions. Second, in cases where abductions lead to more serious crimes, only murders are recorded. Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of missing child Madeleine McCann,[18] joined Missing People and PACT to urge the Home Office to improve the quality of these statistics.[19]

10 October 2007, PACT and the Police National Missing Persons Bureau launched Missing Children TV,[20] a TV channel showing photographs and information on some of the 100,000 children that go missing every year. Electronics Health Media (EHM) screens the short information bulletins in the waiting rooms of hospitals and GP surgeries.[21]

In March 2009, Emcor announced it would be featuring its 12th child in their national poster campaign run by PACT, NPIA and Emcor Group (UK). The company noted that since the programme’s launch in 2006, four children featured on the posters had been found.[22]

On 25 May 2011, International Missing Children's Day, she scored a notable success when the Home Office announced major changes to child protection services in the UK - in particular the passing of responsibility for missing, abducted and exploited children to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (CEOP). This was the culmination of a ten-year lobbying campaign. Her role was recognised in the Home Office press release.[23]

In May 2011 the finances of Parents & Abducted Children Together were called into question by the Mandrake gossip column of the Daily Telegraph.[24] The organization replied to these accusations in a letter to the Telegraph.[25]

In June 2012 Lady Meyer's work as founder and chief executive of PACT was officially recognised, when she was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in The Queen's Birthday Honours for services to children and families.[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]