Thoughts on the Social World

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120  Missing Children Europe.

120 Missing Children Europe.

Aagje Ieven is Secretary General at Missing Children Europe , where sheis responsible for the strategic development and day-to-day management of the organization.Aagje has a background in Health (Bachelor, Leuven 1998) and Political Philosophy (Master, Leuven, and Nijmegen, 2002). She has close to twenty years of experience in research and policy analysis on human rights in Europe and has worked for a number of EU civil society organisations advocating for the rights and wellbeing of children and their families. She coordinated a campaign for the rights of children in vulnerable situations and managed a European membership network supporting families affected by mental health issues. At Missing Children Europe she established a research and training programme on runaways, the largest category of missing children, and led the advocacy on the new EU Child Rights

Currently Secretary General at Missing Children Europe, Aagje heads the European umbrella organisation for ngo’s working on the issue of missing children. They strive to protect and empower children to prevent them from going missing, and they do this by supporting the professionals in our network with research, training, advocacy and awareness raising. They focus on runaways, children abducted by a parent, and unaccompanied migrant children. They coordinate the network of 116000 missing child hotlines which children and families can call when a child is (at risk of going) missing. They also run a network of cross border family mediators that international families which are separating can contact for support.

At missing children, Aagje is responsible for day-to-day management of the organization and setting out the strategic lines together with the Board.

Her educational background is in Health (Bachelor, Leuven 1998) and Political Philosophy (Master, Leuven, and Nijmegen, 2002). She spend 6 years doing research on human rights in Europe at the University of Leuven and as a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University in New York. After that experience in New York, she decided to embark on a career in EU civil society and led a research project on child health inequalities at EuroHealthNet. Since then she has worked for a number of civil society organisations advocating for the rights and wellbeing of children and their families. At Eurochild, she coordinated a campaign to advocate for deinstitutionalisation and family based care for children.  For 2 years, she was SecGen at EUFAMI, another European membership network supporting families caring for family members with severe mental health issues.

Aagje joined Missing Children Europe almost three years ago, and have since then established their research and training programme on runaways, called RADAR, have established child participation in the organisation, have led our advocacy on the new EU Child Rights Strategy, and is currently working on their new four year strategy 2022-2025.

Research conducted as part of the INCLUDE project shows that overlooking children in international abduction cases leads to feelings of helplessness and anxiety.They work with professionals who assist missing children, children at risk of going missing and their families. MCE supports them to better protect and empower children through research, training, advocacy, and awareness, facilitating exchange and cross-border cooperation. They coordinate the network of 116000 missing children hotlines, and the Cross-Border Family Mediators network. In all of these ways it contributes to more effective, holistic and integrated child protection systems across Europe.

Missing Children Europe website where you will find all of our projects and annual reports:

International family conflict – families can find Cross Border Family Mediators here:

Long term missing cases – NotFound application for all website owners:

Children in Migration – Miniila application with info for unaccompanied minors:

Children in Migration – Lost in Migration conference for professionals in the field:

Children in Migration – Tiny and Apollo campaign to start a different conversation on migration:

Thanks as always to for technical assistance with the podcast.


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119  Sarah Goff  , Ann Craft Trust

119 Sarah Goff , Ann Craft Trust

Sarah Goff, Development Manager – Safeguarding Young People

Sarah is ACT Disabled Young People Manager, she has over twenty years’ experience in the fields of child protection and social care. She is an expert in the field of safeguarding disabled children and her interests include the impact of domestic abuse and child sexual exploitation.

Sarah currently combines her role at the Ann Craft Trust as a lecturer at the University of Nottingham on their BA and MA Social Care programmes. Sarah also delivers safeguarding disabled children training to organisations across the UK to make sure children and young people’s voices are heard. She has also led and continues to contribute to world-leading research projects in the UK and Europe.

We talk over a wide range of things concerning safeguarding disabled children and young people.


some of Sarah’s current work includes

  • raising awareness of families’ needs for greater support; Autism and lack of understanding; missed in mainstream
  • We Matter Too project : experiences of disabled yp experiencing domestic abuse
  • sexual exploitation and learning needs; what help parents need to act protectively
  • current projects on sexual exploitation and learning needs

useful  links include


Sarah’s passion for her work comes accross strongly. After listening , check out their work on their website

Thanks , as always , to  

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118 Mike Hames, safeguarding expert.

118 Mike Hames, safeguarding expert.


The podcast is back. After a couple of  months or so break we head into the 7th year of reporting the world we live in.

We talk of the way safeguarding has changed and the challenges for the future. Mike is still working full time with a residential provider , coordinating all safeguarding work for the group.

My guest is Michael Hames, safeguarding expert, who I’ve known for 25 years and whom I worked with on several initiatives and investigations starting when he was at Scotland Yard.

He was born in Colchester, Essex and after education at the Colchester Royal Grammar School, joined the Metropolitan Police in 1962.  He served for 32 years  and held a variety of management positions at senior rank from 1970.  During much of this time, he specialised in the detection of sex offenders.

For the last 5 years of his service, he was the Detective Superintendent in charge of the Obscene Publications Branch at New Scotland Yard. During his time there, he re-focussed the work to encompass the proactive detection of paedophile offenders and it has subsequently been renamed the Paedophilia Unit of the Organised Crime Group.  He developed and refined, the use of the first National Index of convicted and suspected paedophiles until the formation of the National Criminal Intelligence Service in 1993, when the Index was transferred to the Home Office Unit.

He supervised the operational unit which achieved outstanding success and world wide acknowledgment of its pioneering work to combat paedophiles & enhanced his reputation as a safeguarding expert.

He was the U.K. Interpol representative  on the Standing Working Group on Offences Against Children.  He chaired the sub-committee on law Enforcement methods and was the leading police advocate of legislation to ban possession of child pornography throughout the member States, as well as extra-territorial legislation to deal with child abusers who travel and commit offences outside their jurisdiction.  He has regular contact with non governmental agencies such as E.C.P.A.T. (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of children for sexual purposes), The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, in the U.S., as well as law enforcement agencies throughout the world.

He was also  a member of the Sexual Offences Steering Committee at Scotland Yard.  He has carried out research into Organised and Ritual Abuse of Children and is an acknowledged authority on the subject of Child Sexual Abuse.  He has lectured widely at home and abroad and published articles in the press and professional journals.  He frequently appears on Television and Radio.

He is now an independent consultant, advising and training at the request of  Local Authorities, Charities and Private Companies on a variety of subjects including Child Protection, Staffing issues, Strategic Management and Selection of Staff.  His speciality remains the combating of Child Abuse in Organisations.

He holds a post graduate Diploma in Management Studies.  He holds the British Psychological Society’s Level ‘B’ Certificate in psychometric testing.

His autobiography, ‘The Dirty  Squad’ was published by Little Brown in April 2000.

Thanks , as always, to for technical support.

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