Missing Children – SBP

Missing child

Recommendations for pediatricians and families

About 50,000 children and adolescents go missing in Brazil every year, destroying families and disrupting dreams. This is a real threat that is knocking on the door of society and it must be understood as a priority for everyone. Inspired to change this scenario, the Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP) has sought to stir up controversy for the formulation of public policy to address this issue. The campaign, meetings and public activities were created to draw the attention of the people and the authorities to the drama, which affected thousands of people.

It is estimated that about 10% of missing children and adolescents cannot be found. Many of them are caught up in the web of possibilities created by human trafficking – irregular adoption, forced labor, pornography and prostitution networks, inter-domestic violence and philanthropy, drug trafficking or even the organ trade. The Brazilian case is even more serious because of the lack of public and social policy to address this perversion from a human rights perspective.

To guide pediatricians and families, SBP, in partnership with Conselho Nacional do Ministério Público (CNMP), offers a series of recommendations in this document that can help reduce these statistics and prevent other cases from happening. The purpose is to engage the whole society in the search for these children and adolescents, since, at some point, they must take care of the health center or clinic.

With the support and participation of everyone in this crusade against abuse and neglect that affects victims and families, the organizations believe that a new reality may arise. Organizations invite organized groups of society to participate in this work, as well as schools and health, safety and justice institutions, among others.

Don’t wait for something to happen to our children and grandchildren or our patients, so that military forces can start in the area. We are all responsible for this! All children and teenagers are important to us!

10 Recommendations for Pediatricians:

  1. Sensitize health care administrations, especially on public networks, so that they are needed, at the time of patient admission, to document the companion and to identify the child or adolescent, the existing link.
  2. In the absence of documentation confirming that the child or adolescent is accompanied by parents, grandparents, siblings, relatives or persons in legal custody, the accompanying person must present written permission to accompany;
  3. Without prejudice to medical care, the suspect case must be taken to the appropriate authorities by the health care administration – police, guardianship council, fire department;
  4. When assisting children or adolescents in a health unit (public or private), consider the possibility of a missing person;
  5. Analyze the patient’s attitude and observe how he treats the companion; Shows fear, apparently induced crying or anxiety, expression of pain or alertness (frightened appearance);
  6. Notice the existence of physical marks, such as cuts, wounds and other signs of physical, sexual or emotional violence;
  7. Be suspicious if the partner provides conflicting, conflicting information or does not know how to answer basic questions about daily routine, place and level of study, preferences, behavioral characteristics, and social relationships of the child;
  8. Always maintain an open and open conversation with the patient. Consider what he says to be true. In cases where you have reason to suspect, make sure the reported situation is indeed true;
  9. Pay attention to possible situations of inter-family and domestic violence and assess its level of severity, as missing child may be related to the child’s escape or concealment of his or her death;
  10. Remember that the history of the escape of children or adolescents should always determine the investigation of inter-family or domestic violence.

10 recommendations for families:

  1. Make your identity card (RG or passport) in childhood. A photo of the child and a document containing the names of the parents or guardians can make the subtraction difficult, facilitate search, location and identification;
  2. When the child is out of the house, even with parents or guardians, always try to identify him / her with a card, bracelet or badge containing data such as: full name, telephone number of responsible person, identification number.
  3. Regular supervision of children by a responsible adult. Never let them move away, much less eye contact with them;
  4. Do not delegate childcare responsibilities to other children or adolescents. This care and protection must always come from adults;
  5. Don’t wait 24 hours to report missing. The law ensures that searches for children begin as soon as news is received, ensuring a greater chance of finding them;
  6. When verifying that a child is missing alone, bring the nearest police authority, guardian council, an agent of the municipal guard or even the fire department to help him;
  7. Teach them not to accept anything, money, sweets or any gifts or benefits, as well as not take rides from strangers or only their acquaintances;
  8. Instruct not to identify your son or daughter’s name, address or telephone number, personal information, such as the school he / she attends, the websites he / she joins the club, or any other information that he / she may attend;
  9. Instruct your kids and toddlers under your responsibility at any age, to avoid interactive games with other people they don’t know in the real world on the digital network, especially if you’re not old enough or mature enough to differentiate between different sorting situations;
  10. Every time you take your child to school, to a party or to a friend’s house, wait for him to enter and make sure he has really reached his destination and is safe.

Brazilian Society of Pediatrics (SBP)

Public Ministry National Council (CNMP)

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