This report describes the communication trajectory of the Belgian NGO "Child Focus". In addition five other European Child Alert systems (France, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) are studied and compared. The analysis is based on document and website analysis, focus groups, short questionnaires and contacts/ interviews with local correspondents.

The main results of the analysis can be summarized as follows:

- European alert models are much inspired by the US Amber Alert instrument. While the US Amber Alert system was aimed at developing a broadcasting system, the European Alert project is intended at designing a reviewed dissemination process, since many European countries already have locally developed a broadcasting system.

- The development of Child Alert systems is built on the assumption that involving citizens in what is essentially a policing process, contributes to locating the disappeared minor. However, no results of evaluation studies at this stage support this assumption. Neither is evaluation research available on the efficiency of the development of Child Alert systems.

- The comparative analysis learns that core concepts such as 'minority', 'child disappearances', 'extremely worrying' and 'collaboration strategies' are used differently in the daily practice of the respective systems.

- The development and use of Child Alert systems are an issue of collaboration between partners with different backgrounds. The mix of partners involved and the local context explains many differences in social construction of the Child Alert system.

- The international focus in developing and disseminating information remains underexposed.

- The technological tools and dissemination strategies differ between countries. Every country is seeking ways to speed up the distribution of information of the networks by means of technological applications.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBrussel: Child Focus
Number of pages126
ISBN (Print)978-90-77118-20-7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2010

    Research areas

  • Child Alert, public-private collaboration, child disappearances, public information dissemination

ID: 2013825