Senator Jillian van Turnhout welcomes news of EC funding for Ireland’s 116 000 Missing Children Hotline
Press Statement, 25 May 2012
“It is more than seven months since I led a motion in the Seanad calling on the Government to ensure the implementation of the harmonised European 116 000 Missing Children Hotline in Ireland. The 116 000 number was allocated to the ISPCC on 1 February 2012.
Today, on International Missing Children’s Day, I warmly welcome the announcement that the ISPCC has received €150,000 in an operating grant from the European Commission under the Daphne III Programme. This is vital funding, which will help ensure that Ireland’s 116 000 Missing Children Hotline is up and running in the coming months.
I now urge the Government to be forthcoming both with the additional funding ISPCC requires to get the Hotline working and with the on-going funding that will need to ensure an efficient and effective service into the future.
The Missing Children Hotline in Ireland will increase to 17 the number of EU Member States operating the service nationally. The Hotline will take calls and offer support to anyone concerned about a missing child, including parents and children themselves. It will deal with the different types of child disappearance, including runaways, parental abductions, missing unaccompanied migrant minors, criminal abductions, lost, injured or otherwise missing children. It will also be an important additional resource to the Gardaí, who are the lead agency dealing with missing children.
I warmly welcomed the decision to assign the 116 000 number to the ISPCC, which has a long and proud history of service delivery and advocacy on behalf of children in Ireland. The ISPCC is the only organisation in Ireland currently providing 24 hour support to children and young people through its Childline service. Childline received 800,000 calls in 2011. Unlike its UK and Northern Ireland counterparts, Childline Ireland receives no Government support. Insufficient funding means that 38% of calls, representing the voices of 800 children, go unanswered each day.
I have called on the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald TD, to come into the Seanad to discuss how better her Department and the Government can support the exceptional work done by Childline to ensure an Ireland where all children are heard and valued.
Notes to editor:
– The motion was presented to the Seanad on 12 October 2011.
– On the 15th of February 2007, the European Commission reserved the 116 000 phone number in all EU member states as a common number for emergency action whenever a child goes missing.
– General information on the 116 000 Missing Children Hotline can be found at: http://www.hotline116000.eu/
– Speech by Senator van Turnhout on Missing Children Hotline 12 October 2011 http://www.kildarestreet.com/sendebates/?gid=2011-10-12.111.0