The “Foundation for the Child and the Family”, in collaboration with the “European Office for Missing and Exploited Children” –a non governmental organisation for the research, the sensitization and the prevention concerning the abuse, disappearance and exploitation of children- and the “Fondation pour l’ Enfance” -a private French social foundation for the problems of children- organised an International Conference with the topic “Priority to the Dignity and safety of the Children in Europe”.

During the Conference, which took place on the 17th of June 1997 at Zappeion Megaron Hall of Athens, Greek and foreigner scientists exchanged opinions as well as evidence regarding the dimension and parameters of the abuse, disappearance and exploitation of children at a European level and they proposed measures to combat such phenomena.

Among other subjects, the action of the European Union concerning the confrontation of the disappearance and exploitation of children, the role of the European Council on the resolution of the problem, the high risk family and social factors, the role of the international police collaboration via INTERPOL and Scotland Yard and the intra-university collaboration in the research sector were also discussed and analysed.

The President of the “Foundation for the Child and the Family”, Mrs Marianna V. Vardinoyannis, introduced the Conference and the panel was coordinated by the Professor of Sociology at the Panteion University, Mrs Loukia Mousourou.

The Conference keynote speakers were: Andre Bossard, Doctor of Law, Analyst of International Criminology and President of the “European Office for Missing and Exploited Children”; Marie–Paule Poilpot, Director of the Fondation pour l’Enfance and official representative of the “European Office for Missing and Exploited Children”; Kalliopi Spinelli, Professor of Criminology at the Law School of the University of Athens, former President of the Committee of Examiners of the Council of Europe; Helen Agathonos, Doctor of Psychology, Director of the Department of Family Relations of the “Institute of Child Health”; Patricia Gregory, Senior functionary of Scotland Yard and representative of the Vice-President of the European Office for Missing and Exploited Children, Mr. de Jong; Ioanna Bekiaris, Police Inspector of the 2nd Directorate for the Protection of Minors, Interpol official for matters concerning minors; Emilio Viano, Professor of Criminology and General Coordinator of the International Centre of Criminology in Paris, Professor of the American University Washington and Vice-President of the “European Office for Missing and Exploited Children”.

The Conference was attended by representatives of the political world as well as of public and private institutions which deal with the problems of children.