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On 25 May, International Missing Children’s Day, the Slovenian Police issued a new children’s picture book in cooperation with the AMBER Alert Europe Foundation and thus joined the all-European prevention campaign. The picture book entitled The Rumbling Adventure of Hare was written with the intention of teaching children the skills and giving them the knowledge they need to stay safe.

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The picture book The Rumbling Adventure of Hare is available in 20 languages

Authors of the campaign raise awareness about the safety of small children by using a picture book

On the occasion of today’s International Missing Children’s Day, the Slovenian Police and the AMBER Alert Europe Foundation announced the start of their annual prevention campaign that particularly focuses on the safety of small children. The central part of this year’s campaign is a new picture book entitled The Rumbling Adventure of Hare intended to raise awareness among children.

The story by Julie Bellinkx and the illustrator Melanie Louwerens conveys a message to children about the importance of following their instincts and does so in a playful and positive manner. So that the book would be interesting to small children, the Foundation turned to children’s book authors, illustrators, child psychologists, behavioural scientists and paediatricians who helped design the story and illustrations. The picture book is to be read by parents and carers and can serve as the basis to gently initiate the discussion about the dangers that children can encounter.

Damjan MikliÄŤ: "Children have to know what to do if a stranger approaches them or if they get lost"

Damjan MikliÄŤ, the representative of the Criminal Police Directorate of the General Police Directorate and the President of the European Police Expert Network on Missing Persons (PEN-MP) between 2020 and 2022, highlighted that many dangers loom over children nowadays. Children can disappear from school playgrounds, when walking in a forest or a town park, on their way from school or in other places. It is important that we raise their awareness about self-protective behaviour, so that they know what to do if an unknown person approaches them or even asks them to go with them and what to do if they get lost.

Frank Hoen: "Our story about the lost hare can be a valuable aid for parents and carers"

On this occasion, Frank Hoen, the Chairman and Founder of the AMBER Alert Europe Foundation, stressed, "The safety of our children is pivotal, and we are pleased to launch this campaign to help small children learn about their personal safety. We believe that the story about the hare who went for a ramble and learned to listen to his instincts is a precious tool for parents and carers when educating their children about safety, especially if they disappear, and we are proud to share it with families all over Europe."

The picture book also talks about the importance of trusting one’s instincts

Through the story, children learn important rules in a playful and positive manner. These basic rules are based on five pieces of advice that arise from the concept of trusting one’s own instincts and were drafted in cooperation with the experts on the topic of missing children.

Top five advice for children

  • Always trust your instincts. If it seems that something is wrong, then don’t do it.
  • Never go anywhere by yourself. It’s safer if you go with someone else.
  • Don’t go anywhere with people you don’t know or whose company you didn’t expect.
  • If you get lost, ask other parents for help.
  • Learn to observe your surroundings and distinguishing signs. That’s how you’ll be able to find your way back.

More than 100,000 children and adolescents go missing in Europe every year

According to the PEN-MP, more than 100,000 children and adolescents are reported missing in Europe every year. The Rumbling Adventure of Hare is thus part of the ongoing efforts of the Slovenian Police and the AMBER Alert Europe Foundation to raise awareness about missing children and promote prevention. The education of small children about how to protect themselves can be crucial for the prevention of future cases of missing children.

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