The amber alert system in France is known as the “Alerte Enlèvement” (Abduction Alert) and was launched in 2006. It functions as a “kidnapping alert”, referring to the fact that the disappearance must involve the additional factor of being a suspected abduction.
The purpose of the alert is to spread as rapidly as possible to the country information that may lead to rescuing an abducted child. The alert is activated according to authorization from a prosecutor with appropriate authority and after discussion with the Ministry of Justice. Since it’s induction, 25 alerts have been issued.
There are four basic criteria for issuing the alert:
- Il s’agit d’un enlèvement avéré et non d’une disparition, même inquiétante,
- The disappearance should involve a proven abduction (it’s more than just a missing person case / runaway child)
- la victime est mineure,
- The victim is a minor
- la vie ou l’intégrité physique de l’enfant est en danger,
- The life or physical integrity of the victim is in danger.
- le procureur dispose d’informations dont la diffusion peut permettre la localisation de l’enfant et/ou de son ravisseur.
- The prosecutor possesses information that may lead to the discovery of the victim’s location or that of the abductor.
Generally the prosecutor will also try to ensure the victim’s parent’s approve issuing the alert. They may also choose not to issue an alert if the child’s safety is in danger.
Once issued, usually the alert will be broadcast on the proper systems every 15 minutes for 3 hours (though it may be longer). There are at least 60 partners in the broadcasting scheme.
*This information is based on unofficial translations of the French website (as seen on August 24, 2021). It is not intended for legal reliance, just as general information for non-French speakers. The information may also change in the future. If you actually need to learn about the Alert system or have questions, it is best to go to the website directly. You can find the link below.