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Issue 4

  Final Conference in Brussels

Missing people in Europen: training and coordination is needed

The Final Conference of the Erasmus + funded project “LOST – Learning Opportunities, inStruments and Investigation Techniques to fight the growing phenomenon of missing people in Europe” took place on 16 September at the European Committee of Regions (Brussels).

The conference introduced the final results of the LOST project. This European innovative in dealing with the area of action of the response on disappearances, where different kind of professionals working on cases of missing people has benefited from receiving specific training and support by technical operators and Vocational Education and Training trainers. 

The event counted with the participation of Lucie Susova (SOLIDAR), Barbara Coccetta (Associazione OMNIS), Niels Christian Vestergaard (SOSU AARHUS), Charitini-Maria Skoulidi and Panagiotis G. Anastassopoulos (, Renato Cursi (Don Bosco International), Manal Al Chaarani ( International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). 

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  Multiplier event in Patras, Greece

The Multiplier Event for the European Project LOST was carried out by, on Tuesday, September the 10th. The event took place at the Chamber of Achaia. The Multiplier Event focused on the missing people in Greece and Europe. The purpose of the event was to inform, the public, about the objectives of the Project and especially about the dimensions the serious phenomenon of disappearance has reached.

The event was opened by the vice-governor of Achaia, Mr Charalabos Bonanos. Charitini-Maria Skoulidi and Panagiotis G. Anastassopoulos from p-consulting presented the concept of the Project and provided useful information to the public. Then followed the presentation of Maria Loi, from the Smile of the Child about their role in the cases of missing children.

In the second part of the Multiplier Event, Mr Gerasimos Kourouklis, executive director of “Silver Alert” and Ms Kalomoira Bazely, the sociologist-criminologist of the Organization, shared useful information and statistics on missing adults and elders in Greece. Dr Apostolos Veizis, Program Director for Doctors Without Borders MSF, made a presentation for refugees and immigrants and their disappearance rates.
Finally, Mr George Tsoukalis, a private investigator and UNESCO Cultural & Heritage Advisor for Piraeus and Islands mentioned the contribution of media to the disappearance of individuals and how they can play a positive role in the research process.


Around 60 people attended the Multiplier Event. Most of the participants were men.  Τhey covered an age span of 20-60 years old with the highest proportion of 40-50 years old, followed by 30-40 yo. The members of the audience included police officers, firemen, doctors, university officials, teachers, members from the Deaf Association in Patras, members from Disaster Management Unit of Patras etc.
Public interest throughout the event was great, as the presentations were followed by an extensive discussion between speakers and attendees.

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  IPR information sessions in schools in Portugal
About 1,400 children are reported missing each year in Portugal, but only 10 of these are related to crimes. The vast majority are voluntary teenage breakouts, which are eventually found.

Every year about 1,400 children are reported missing in Portugal. The number - which corresponds to four disappearances a day or one every six hours according to recent data from the Judicial Police (PJ).

The vast majority of cases are teenagers who run away of their own accord, especially from institutions. This was the case for most of the approximately 700 disappearances recorded this year, with the smallest usually found within hours. As a rule, they appear of their own accord, but in many cases, we have to locate them, explains the PJ source. Although they are almost all voluntary absences, they force the authorities to initiate processes to locate them.

All were eventually found and all fit the pattern that represents over 90% of registered missing children in Portugal. The minors are between the ages of 12 and 17 and are usually found by the authorities or relatives within hours of their disappearance.


School vacation periods are those with the most disappearances. As there is no school in the summer, they are more inclined to go out with a friend or spend the night with relatives. Cases related to suspected crime will no longer be a dozen per year. The vast majority are voluntary leaks.

And everything indicates that the trend will continue this year. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, the Judicial Police (PJ) reported about 700 cases involving minors.

Based on the LOST project, IPR carried out information actions in schools in Portugal with the support of local police. Although this is not the primary concern of schools, actions have been successful and are expected to continue throughout this school year. There is an increasing awareness among schools, local police and organizations of the need to support the training of agents in this area.

 Multiplier event in Madrid, Spain

SOSDesparecidos presented the European course to train professionals to face the problem of missing people in Europe at the National Center of Dissaparence (Madrid, Spain). This training has been developed under the European Project LOST together with other European partners.

It’s important to highlight that this kind of training is targeting professionals working in departments of finding people such as security forces.

  Multiplier event in Perugia, Italy

The Perugia multiplier event was organized in collaboration with the SIULP Partner (Police Syndicate) on 15 July 2019 from 9.00 am to 13.00 pm at the Perugia Police Headquarters.

The meeting was held by the leading Italian experts in the field of disappearance. The event was attended by 40 people, all employees of the State Police who expressed great interest in the topic, as it involves their work, in addition to the request to repeat the initiative with a more detailed investigation.

  Multiplier event in Pisa, Italy

The Multiplier event in Pisa was organised by the Lead Partner Società della Salute Pisana (SdS) taking place in Pisa on 7 June at the venue of a local company “Navicelli SPA “. 

The choice of the location is due to the strong interest of the company in supporting technologies for monitoring the Missing People phenomenon.

The main speaker was Major Perri from IFORLAB who has strongly contributed to the development of the training programme contents. Other interventions were done from SdS and Penelope Association about social policies and voluntary services to assist families involved in the missing of their loved ones.

51 participants from the associations, NGOs, Municipalities, social cooperatives and Navicelli company took part in this Multiplier event. The debate and the curiosities expressed were mainly based on the characteristics and data about the phenomenon and the tools in terms of LOST outputs developed up to now to fight the phenomena, in terms of improving the cases of solutions and the existing services and opportunities in order to help families to find alive missing children and in general all missing persons.

  Missing People news

DENMARK: Vivian and Benedikte help find missing people

In Zealand, people typically disappear in the woods-in Jutland it is mostly near water. But securing the port of Aalborg has, according to the organisation, helped…

When the phone rings at the home of Vivian Eriksen in Rebild, her husband occasionally puts his head on cocked and listens.

If the word “emergency search” appears, he is often about to pack the wife’s car with yellow waistcoats and other gear, before she has put down the phone.

Then he knows, that she is likely to be on her way, to help find a person who has disappeared from family and friends.

Vivian Eriksen is the chairman of the voluntary and nationwide “Missing People” organization, which aims to help find people, who have been lost and at the same time support the families, who are left in a mixture of hope, fear and powerlessness.

Often in days. Maybe for weeks, months or even years. With a lurking risk of never getting clear facts about what happened.

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SPAIN:  SOSDesparecidos Geolocation wristband

On Friday, September 13, the SOSDesparecidos Association presented in the auditorium of Casa de Cantabria (Madrid), the SOSDesparecidos Geolocation wristband, a device developed in collaboration with JOMAR that will help prevent the disappearance of, especially vulnerable people.

SOSDesparecidos began working on this project in 2017 with the goal of reducing the high number of elderly and sick people who disappear every year in Spain. Back then, the data collected by the Association already reflected a problem that would later be confirmed by the latest government figures, which reflect that throughout 2018 a total of 454 active reports were recorded regarding people over 65, many of the Alzheimer's patients.

The president of the SOSDesaparecidos Association, Joaquin Amills explains that “Our geolocator emerges as a reaction to the high number of extremely vulnerable people and people over 65 who disappear without a trace in our country. For years, every time we published an alert of this type we felt great helplessness and we wondered if we, as an Association, could do something to help solve this problem"

Thanks to its small size, The SOSDesaparecidos Geolocator shows the positioning of the person who carries it through a GPS connection, WiFi networks and triangulation of telephone antennas.
Its communication system works through a mobile phone, which allows families to know the location of their loved one at any time by receiving notifications and emails, and the device serves as a telephone terminal, which will be useful in those circumstances in which the bearer or carrier needs to transmit a quick and efficient message.

At the same time, the device issues notifications previously configured distance and speed are exceeded, all these data is stored in a registry that is renewed every thirty days.

  LOST Materials
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