It has been a relatively quiet week for us. We did hear from the UK police that the French have officially ruled out the reported sighting of Madeleine in Montpellier. It is disappointing that it took so long, particularly after the widespread coverage the reported sighting received in the media.
Today Kate and I met with representatives of two UK charities involved in missing and abducted children. Missing People is the largest UK non-governmental organisation involved in this area and a member of Missing Children Europe. The introduction of a Europe wide child alert system is strongly supported by both organisations. Missing People have also applied to run the 116 00 number, which has been reserved throughout the EU as a missing child hotline. Missing People were responsible for displaying Madeleine’s image on Marble arch, along with 2 other missing children last summer. It was heartening to hear today that one of those children was recovered as a direct result and the other has also been successfully returned to his family.
PACT (parents and abducted children together) is a much smaller organisation founded by Catherine Meyer. PACT is positioned primarily as an advocates for change in how missing children cases are handled and identified very early how poorly data on missing and abducted children are collected. PACT would like to see a national centre in the UK similar to NCMEC in the USA. It was uplifting to see how Catherine has maintained her passion, drive and commitment to try and make effective changes even after ten years of campaigning. Kate and I will work with the various non-governmental organisations to influence the policy makers who decide these important decisions.