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, on June 20 2019. 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.