In the EU approximately 130 000 international couples file for divorce annually. 23.2% of the cases handled by the hotlines for missing children in 2017 were cases of parental abductions. 55.7% of these cases were cross-border in nature.
The Cross-border Family Mediators Network was launched in 2012 by the Belgian NGO Child Focus and the German NGO Mediation bei internationalen Kindschaftskonflikten (MiKK), with the support of the Dutch Centre for International Child Abduction, in the framework of an EU funded project. The network is based on a training and cross-border family mediation model developed in cooperation with the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
In 2014, the coordination of the network was handed over to Missing Children Europe, the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children which represents 31 organisations from 27 European countries. Missing Children Europe coordinates a network of hotlines for missing children, now operational in 32 countries through the same telephone number 116 000.
As permanent members of the Task Force, MiKK as well as Child Focus, still play an important role in the preparation of the mission, strategy and activities of Cross-Border Family Mediators. Furthermore, MiKK is considered the main partner of CBFM in the creation and organisation of trainings in cross-border family mediation.