On Tuesday January 10th, the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Security and Police Force in Malta have launched their national AMBER Alert system to save the lives of missing children.
The system allows the police to quickly and efficiently inform the public when the life of an abducted or missing child is feared to be in imminent danger.
Every citizen on the lookout for missing children
The Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, Carmelo Abela: “A special thank you goes to all those organisations and enterprises who have come forward with genuine interest to help save a missing child’s life when push comes to shove. (…) I encourage even more stakeholders that are in a good place to help the Police relay alerts to the public, to join this deserving initiative. Please, help us save a missing child’s life.”
Every European Member State should have an AMBER Alert system
“Ensuring children’s well-being and protection from harm have always formed an intrinsic part of the Maltese people’s core values. This will also be reflected in our Presidency of the Council of the EU, during which we will be working hard to see further developments on a European level on the issue of missing children, says Minister Abela.
Minister Abela continues: “AMBER Alert Europe is active in sixteen (16) countries, and has so far provided the technological platform for the AMBER Alert System to four (4) EU Member States: The Netherlands, Slovakia, Luxembourg and, now, Malta. I earnestly call on other Member States that do not yet have an AMBER Alert System to follow suit”
To launch its national AMBER Alert system, Malta joined forces with AMBER Alert Europe, the European Child Rescue Alert and Police Network on Missing Children. Malta is the 18th European Member State that launches a national system to find missing children whose life is at immediate danger.
AMBER Alert Europe
Maltese MEPs Miriam Dalli and Roberta Metsola played an important role in launching AMBER Alert Malta. Both MEPs where at the forefront of a group of MEPs who initiated a Written Declaration, that has recently been endorsed by the European Parliament, to implement AMBER Alert Europe’s five-point plan to better protect endangered missing children by improving cross-border cooperation in saving missing children’s lives.
Malta will be the fourth country to make use of the alert system provided by AMBER Alert Europe. The Netherlands launched its AMBER Alert in 2008 and stood at the basis of AMBER Alert Europe. Former EU President Slovakia launched its system in March 2015, followed by Luxembourg in 2016.
AMBER Alerts & endangered missing children
A national AMBER Alert is issued when the police fear the life of an abducted or missing child is in imminent danger. In addition to AMBER Alerts, parts of the system will be used to find endangered missing children. A missing child is considered endangered when there is an immediate and significant risk of harm but the case does not reach the criteria for an AMBER Alert.