The President of the “Foundation for the Child and the Family”, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, participated in the International Conference with the topic “Juvenile disappearance and abduction.”, which took place with the initiative of the “Fondation pour l’Enfance” and “Interpol”, in Lyon, France in the 30th and 31st of March 1999.For the first time, representatives of the police and justice and the mass media as well as non governmental institutions from all over the world, which, for many years, deal with the frustrating phenomenon of the disappearances of children, were assembled in order to exchange their experience regarding the research processes for the recovery of victims, the identification and location of perpetrators as well as the measures for the prevention of criminal actions.
The aim of the Conference was to open all the essential paths for the work and collaboration of every relevant institution, so that all the human potential, included the simple citizens, is mobilised in order to effectively protect the children in all over the world.
In the frame of the Conference, the European Centre for Missing and Exploited Children presented the research that the Centre realised in 6 countries of the European Community, with the topic: Who does what with regard to children missing.
The Foundation for the Child and the Family, the permanent representative of the European Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in Greece, also participated in this research providing all the information, data and parameters concerning the Greek reality.
The Lyon Meeting investigated 4 major units: Police, Justice, Non Governmental Organisations and Mass Media.
The delegates who participated in each unit presented their activities, methods and practices, pointed out the problems and difficulties that they face and proposed ways of collaboration between all the relevant institution and individuals.
Regarding the Conference works, it is worth noting in brief that all delegates considered as necessary that:
a) the role of every relevant service, public and private, should be determined so that their effectiveness is maximised,
b) the basis on which the practical measures are taken should be set so that direct aid to the victims and their families can be immediately provided.
c) the Press should be allowed to become an essential collaborator of this sector.
d) the possibilities for the collaboration of all those involved should be examined in order that every research for a missing child has a happy ending.
It was also stressed that the speed and effectiveness which the citizens and the private institutions act with, directly influence the probability of finding a missing child as well as arresting the criminals.
Among the experts that participated in the Conference, there also were personalities of international prestige, such as Mr Raymond Kendall, Secretary General of Interpol; Madame Giscard d’Estaing, President of the “Fondation pour l’Enfance”; Mr Xavier Delcros, President of the European Centre for missing and exploited children; Mr Stefaan De Clerck, Former Minister of Justice of Belgium; Sir Peter Singer, Judge of the High Court of Justice of London; Mrs Marie-Paul Poilpot, Mrs Marie Roborg and Fran?ois Briguet of the “Fondation pour l’Enfance; Professor Andr? Bossard, Agnes Fournie and Erwin de Wit from Interpol; the Italian Judge, Mrs Sadiga; Emanuel Rose-Frans, Coordinator of the European Centre programme; Madeleine Regen, adviser of the Canadian Embassy; Mr LeSage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Canada; Jean-Louis Scherrer, Goodwill Ambassador of the “Fondation pour l’Enfance, and many others.