Friday, May 11, 2007

Not so safe countries

As the horror of the Madeleine McCann case drags on, today I spoke to Homayra Seller of Innocents in Danger charity, a Unesco charity, about her work protecting children from paedophiles. She described how she pulled out of setting up a branch in Portugal after encountering too much corruption and 'obstructions'. 'It is a case of looking left when you should look right,' she said of certain countries and their attitude to the problem. Which countries are more vulnerable to being exploited by paedophilies? Her answer was a blunt list, 'Portugal, Greece, Madeira, Holland, Belgium and certain parts of Italy, namely Milan and Naples. Those are the countries that are more easily exploited by predatory paedophiles. Parents should understand that there is a demand for European children. And don't leave your children alone in the bedroom. Just don't do it.'

How long was it really between when Madeleine was last seen by her parents and when the borders were closed?

That said we have to balance the risk of with realism. How likely is it that your child will suffer the fate of Maddy? In the last five years, just 11 under fives have gone missing in the UK. It is of course 11 too many, but paranoia is also a danger. I hardly need add that my thoughts and prayers are with Madeleine and her family.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that you mention Portugal as a "risk country", but forget to mention how many children "desapear" each year in the UK... Please be objective in your reports, Portuguese are fed up with all the rubbish in the British media.

The most important thing is to find Madeleine safe and alive. I hope that with this people learn that they are NOT supposed to leave their children alone, EVER!

What if there was a explosion, a earthquake, would you also say that the Portuguese Police was not working well? It was not the Police who left the 3 children alone to go to the restaurant while the holiday resort had a free kindergarten!

If you don't know, many people (including police agents) are taking holidays to look for Madeleine, but of course nobody says that, what in the UK is done is criticize the Police. Spare me!

Friday, May 11, 2007 10:54:00 am  
Blogger Fiona A L Campbell said...

My apologies, Miguel, my intention is not to label Portugal as a country that should not be visited, nor to suggest that the police are being inadequate. But I do think that Portugal has to look very hard at why an organisation such as Innocents in Danger decided not to operate there, and I think parents need to be aware of that sort of information.

Friday, May 11, 2007 1:46:00 pm  

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