The Smile of the Child
Member: NGO Premium
Voluntary Children's Association
10, Zinonos Eleatou Street, GR-151 24 Maroussi, Athens, Greece
The Smile of the Child: AMINA: Safeguarding Migrant Children across Europe
Missing Children Europe and partners work towards ending exploitation of children in migration with fictional cases
A cross-border exercise was held at the premises of ‘The Smile of the Child’ in Athens in the framework of the project ‘AMINA: Safeguarding Migrant Children across Europe”. These ongoing simulations are happening in the framework of the AMINA programme, coordinated by Missing Children Europe, whose Greek member is ‘The Smile of the Child’ and with the support of the H&M Foundation.
The goal of the exercise was based on a fictional cross-border case of a missing unaccompanied minor, victim of trafficking. Participants implemented the necessary procedures according to the respective protocols adapted to the scenario of the exercise.
Existing gaps and challenges were identified, as well as a set of recommendations for the purposes of seminars that will aim at improving knowledge and skills among professionals. In addition, these recommendations will be used as a basis in order to advocate among decision-makers and public officials in order to promote the necessary changes in the operation and legal framework in the field of child disappearances cases at cross-border level.
Among the participants were scientific representatives of ‘The Smile of the Child’ and more specifically members of the scientific personnel of the Operational Center of the Organization, where the European Hotline for Missing Children 116000 and the activation of Amber Alert Hellas are coordinated , representatives of the International Organization for Migration in Greece, the Greek Refugee Council, the National Center of Social Solidarity, the Missing Persons’ Unit of the Hellenic Police, the Coast Guard and the 1st degree prosecutors in the regions of Thiva, Piraeus, Chalkis and Corinth.
The meeting was greeted by the President of the BoD of the Organization ‘The Smile of the Child’ Mr. Costas Yannopoulos, who highlighted the need to empower cooperation between all the competent actors, utilize those effective tools for the management of missing children’s cases and create social impact that will be reflected to the protection of all children at risk.
The exercise was particularly successful given the fact that it covered existing needs of the participants in order to improve their knowledge on the procedures that each and every actor implements in a cross-border case of a missing minor. In addition, participants discussed the multi-faceted nature of the phenomenon and the management problems of law enforcement and non-governmental organizations related to missing children cases.
All participants agreed on the need to continue cooperating and exchanging knowledge and know-how on these issues.
The project is a cross-border collaboration that aims to improve the protection of unaccompanied and separated children in Europe by addressing existing challenges and gaps at the operational, legal and political levels.
The exercise will establish relationships that will lead to enhanced knowledge sharing across borders, and to develop practical toolkits that frontline professionals across Europe can use to ensure children are protected from traffickers and people who mean them harm. The toolkit will include checklists, suggested procedures, modules for cooperation, and a contact guide to facilitate co-operation between services.
More information on the project you can find here.