Abduction alert on Facebook

A new tool for encouraging sightings that guarantees victims right of oblivion..

The procedures proposed by the Ministry of Justice have been adopted by Facebook. The technical measures put in place guarantee the victim’s right of oblivion. At the end of the alert, the photos and names of the children are automatically removed. Facebook has also undertaken to close down any fake pages to ensure complete control of the tool.

To subscribe to the alert mechanism on Facebook, go to: www.facebook.com/alerte.enlevement


Alerte enlèvement

Alerte Enlèvement is a plan designed to help an abducted child by mobilising maximum effort as quickly as possible.

Alerte Enlèvement provides the fastest possible transmission of specific information about the child’s abduction to maximise sightings liable to lead to his recovery by involving the public in the search.

The plan is based on the Amber Alert system set up in the US in 1998 and Quebec in 2003. In France the Alerte Enlèvement plan, launched on 28 February 2006, involves some 40 partners including 116 000 Enfants Disparus. It has incorporated the internet since April 2010 and Facebook since August 2011.. 

Activation criteria

An Alerte Enlèvement plan is not activated for a straightforward disappearance even if serious, but in cases of aggravated abduction.

The plan is activated by a Procureur de la République [state prosecutor] in consultation with the Procureur Général [public prosecutor] and the Ministry of Justice. It is the Procureur de la République who draws up the Alert message.

All four criteria must be met to launch the plan:

  1. The victim must be a minor
  2. It must be an aggravated abduction (and not a straightforward dissapearance even if serious)
  3. The victim must be in danger of death or serious bodily harm
  4. The prosecutor must possess information that will help find the child or abductor if released to the public

If possible, parents should agree to activating the plan but the safety of the child ultimately governs issuing the alert.

Even if all criteria are met, an alert will not be issued if it would cause further danger to the child.

Tools available

  • The alert message is issued immediately nationally no matter when the abduction took place (Public address announcements in railway and underground stations, Displays on motorway information panels, radio flashes, scrolling text on television, internet etc)
  • The prosecutor decides whether or not to involve all partners, If required, there can be a concentration on local communication.
  • Message content can not be modified. It is concise (so that everyone can use it) and accompanied by a photo of the child (where possible) plus details of the abduction.
    A free hotline is set up to receive sightings.
  • An alert lasts 3 hours then stops even if the minor and/or the suspect have not been found.