NEWS

Poster bid for missing children

A charity group, in cooperation with transport authorities, has launched Greece’s first ever public appeal to help trace missing children, a report said yesterday. An average of 300 children are listed as missing in Greece every year, out of which some 60 are never traced, according to figures published in yesterday’s Ta Nea daily. The Hamogelo tou Paidiou (Child’s Smile) charity has started putting up posters with photos and the details of missing children in Athens metro stations, airports and long-distance bus terminals in an attempt to supplement police efforts which, according to the charity’s chairman, Constantinos Yiannopoulos, leave much to be desired. «Police do not accept declarations of missing children for up to 24 hours after the disappearance,» he said. «This is a very long time, when a child’s life is hanging in the balance, and it is highly important to waste no time.» Police figures, which experts claim represent but a fraction of the true numbers involved, show that 3,387 children have disappeared over the past 11 years – and that 728 are still missing.