“Missing is where you see what we in society can’t really catch, it’s really the gaps in our protection system and the gaps in our care system. And how we care for each other that we should be really mindful of because if you’re not mindful of those gaps and you don’t try to close them as a society, they grow bigger.”
What do we mean when we call a child a runaway? And how is this symptomatic of a much bigger issue?
This time, Karen and Caroline are joined by Aagje Ieven, the Secretary General of Missing Children Europe, to look at the real reasons people go missing. And these aren’t the ones you hear about in the movies. They look at the gaps in care that cause vulnerable people – adults and children – to be lost by our international systems of protection and unpick the complicated terminology that can exacerbate the issue.
Aagje also shares shocking statistics about missing children and the interrelation with abduction, smuggling and trafficking. The team also discusses how war and conflict has created extreme forced displacement in recent months and years. Please note this episode includes references to suicide and self-harm. We want you to share knowledge and empower conversations to help tackle the missing persons crisis.
Aagje Ieven is Secretary General at Missing Children Europe, where she is responsible for the strategic development and day-to-day management of the organisation. She has a background in Health and Political Philosophy. She has close to twenty years of experience in research and policy analysis on human rights in Europe and has worked for a number of EU civil society organisations advocating for the rights and wellbeing of children and their families. She coordinated a campaign for the rights of children in vulnerable situations and managed a European membership network supporting families affected by mental health issues. At Missing Children Europe her focus is on research based advocacy, prevention and quality service delivery. She established a research and training programme on the drivers of running away, led the advocacy on the new EU Child Rights Strategy and, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, set up a helpdesk for hotlines in Ukraine and its neighbouring countries.