Tirana, 25 May 2020 - Today, on the International Day of Missing Children, the National Center for Missing Children in Albania, a joint service of CRCA/ECPAT Albania and ALO 116-000, seeks to bring to the attention of the National Police Authority of Albania, the Ministry of Interior and the Albanian Government, their obligation and responsibility to protect every child, especially those most at risk of becoming victims of violence or sexual exploitation.
According to the official data of the National Police Authority, every three days one child goes missing or approximately 120 children a year! Exactly today, on the day when the whole world brings to attention all the efforts that countries makes for missing children, a 12-year-old girl in Albania is missing since yesterday. There is no news on her, as well as at least 14 other children, missing from previous years. Some of these children are abducted by their relatives, others leave the family due to violence and abuse, while the main danger is that they become prey to criminal groups or sexual predators.
Albania continues to be among the European countries that lack serious measures to protect missing and exploited children for sexual purposes. While many European countries have been implementing the Amber Alert for years, the National Police Authority, although has been provided with the opportunity to install it, still has not returned an official response. The question that we asked today is: Who benefits if Albania does not have an Amber Alert?
On the International Day of Missing Children, once again we address this open call to the National Police Authority in Albania: Implement the Amber Alert and protect the missing children in Albania!
The loss of children is not only a complex issue but also a problem to which no state enjoys immunity! During the years 2016-2019, according to the National Police Authority, 365 children were missing, of which 258 girls and 107 boys. While 353 children have returned to their families, the rest are still missing. Every year, more than 850,000 children worldwide are reported missing.
For more information contact:
National Center for Missing Children in Albania (NCMCA)
Altin Hazizaj Mirgit Vataj
CRCA / ECPAT Albania ALO 116-000 Albania