“Every five minutes a child goes missing in the UK”, according to PACT (Parents and Abducted Children Together) a UK based organization. “Every Five Minutes” is a report from PACT, published in October 2005. It examined available sources to establish how many children go missing in the UK every year. “The report concludes that it is currently impossible to obtain an accurate and comprehensive picture of the nature or scale of the problem (estimates range between 100,000 and 180,000)” according to the organization’s Internet home page.
But a look at the PACT home page shows only one name and one children’s face: Madeleine McCann.
Have you ever heard or read about 3-year-old Penelope Orfanos? Or 5-year-old Andrew John Thompson? How many events were organized and/or supported by millionaires like Richard Branson, Brian Kennedy and J.K.Rowling to raise awareness about the fact that they are missing since 2007, 2008 and 2000? How many pounds have those three wealthy persons spend to help find 4-year-old Nicole Satariano, missing since 2004? Did BBC, Sky News and ITV send journalists to follow the plight of young Telvin Timba, missing from Essex since July 2007 and believed to have been taken to Zimbabwe? Was Martin Brunt assigned to Waltham Forest area, the place were Ocean Ebba, now 8-yeard-old, was seen last time, on July 2008?
I’m afraid the answer to all of those questions is “No”, “Never”, “None”, “Not even one”. A quick search with Google shows 361 references to missing 3-year-old Penelope Orfanos, 31,700 references to missing 15-year-old Andrew Gosden, 186,000 references to 5-year-old Andrew John Thompson and 994,000 references to missing 7-year-old (now…) Madeleine McCann.
All children are equal and have the same rights. But some of them, it seems, are more equal than others. And have more millionaires willing to spend thousands of pounds on lawyer’s fees, public relations experts, media campaigns and other useful tools to find missing children.
I wish that 2010 may bring good news to the anguished fathers and mothers of all of those missing children that can’t pay for expensive and efficient media campaigns to tell the all world that their beloved children are still missing.