ASTRA marked International Missing Children Day, on May 25, in the park Tasmajdan in Belgrade. On this occasion ASTRA organized a play “All for children“ with the aim to amuse girls and boys, but also to inform their parents and other adults about the European number for missing children in Serbia, prevention of the children’s dissapereances, as well as how to react on potential risks the children could be exposed to. Participants in the performance were clown Pucko, dance group Dance Factory, students from the music school Voice Star Factory, children from the reception center Čarobnisvet who made everybody in the audience laugh. On the other side, ASTRA’s activists spoke to the adults in the park about the missing children problem and informed them about services that are available in ASTRA.
The data from the previous year (2017) show the seriousness of the problem of missing children:
According to the data of the Ministry of Interior, 1334 reports of the different types of missing children cases were received during 2017, out of which 98% of the children were found. Also, data show that during this year there have been no reports related to the minors connected with criminal acts. Since 2012 until today ASTRA has received more than 2000 calls through European number for missing children in regard to different types of missing children. Calls for missing children referred to 11 children: 8 girls and 3 boys. Out of this number, 10 children are citizens of Serbia, and 1 child is a foreign citizen. For six children, the European number for missing children in Serbia has received information that they have been found, and the search continues for three children. We do not have feedback for two children.
ASTRA will continue to raise public awareness about the existence of the problem of missing children, advocate for the establishment of the system for more efficient pursuit and provide help and assistance to the children and parents. Furthermore, ASTRA will advocate for the implementation of the emergency notification system, known in Europe as the Child Alert, which would include citizens in the pursuit for the missing children, especially when the children are victims of the criminal abduction.