The Case of Missing People: Addressing a Life-Threatening Issue
In Mytracknet we tend to refer a lot to the “Lost & Found” industry as well as the numerous cases of missing valuables that people have lost and are actively looking to retrieve back. By “valuables” we usually refer to items of value like wallets, briefcases, keys. Let’s not forget about missing pets as well, since our little friends tend to stray away from home in numerous occasions.
There is however a very specific category that can create stressful situations and be the cause of immense sorrow, we are talking about the kind of feelings one experiences when a friend or even worse, a family member disappears and is deemed as “missing”. A very real problem addressed in all parts of the word, in urban and rural areas, involving a wide range of ages, especially children.
In this article we will attempt to identify the key facts in the issue of a person’s disappearance, especially of children and then examine the current options provided in locating the missing individual as well as Mytracknet’s proposal and contribution.
Looking into the facts
The stats are horrifying to say the least. According to the Wall Street Journalin 2012:
“It is estimated that some 8 million children go missing around the world each year.”
In addition, The BBC News has previously reported that in the case of children who go missing worldwide:
“while usually the child is found quickly the ordeal can sometimes last months, even years.”
People disappear for many reasons, some of which due to:
• Escape from domestic abuse
• Leaving home to live somewhere else under a new identity
• Becoming the victim of kidnapping
• Abduction (of a minor) by a non-custodial parent or other relative
• Having suicidal tendencies
• Mental illness or other ailments such as Alzheimer’s Disease
By focusing on the case of missing children, we come up with some shocking results in categorizing the disappearances, since they may involve:
- Runaways: Minors who run away from home, from the institution where they have been placed, or from the people responsible for their care.
- Abduction by a third person: Abduction of minors by anyone other than the parents or the persons with parental authority.
- National or international parental abduction: Parental abductions are cases where a child is taken to or kept in a country or place other than that of his/her normal residence by one or more parents or persons with parental authority, against another parent’s will or against the will of the person with parental authority.
- Missing unaccompanied migrant minors: Disappearances of migrant children, nationals of a country in which there is no free movement of persons, under the age of 18 who have been separated from both parents and are not being cared for by an adult, who by law is responsible for doing so.
- Lost, injured or otherwise missing children: Disappearances for no apparent reason of minors who got lost (e.g. young children at the seaside in summer) or hurt themselves and cannot be found immediately (e.g. accidents during sport activities, at youth camps, etc.), as well as children whose reason for disappearing has not yet been determined.
The impact a disappearance can have on families and friends as well as the missing people themselves can be immensely profound. Among the commonly reported impacts on family and friends include health deterioration, work absence, and financial costs associated with the search, not to mention obviously the traumatic experience the actual missing person may be stuck with after a succesful recovery.
It should be noted that a case of disappearance can also affect local communities in a cummulatively manner by creating turmoil, insecurity and stress, especially in less crowded municipal environments.
Current prevention measures and recovery solutions
Coming up with a way to deal with such a sensitive issue at a global scale is a difficult task, thus one that should be addressed in a multifaceted manner. It would thus be beneficial to encounter the problem through two different perspectives: prevention and actualy recovery measures taken.
Prevention policies include the actual services and proceedings provided to the public in order to minimize the number of missing people cases. According to globally introduced practices, they include among others:
· Support Programs for distressed individuals (helplines, meetups etc.)
· Education and awareness programs
· Stricter policing & neighbourhood watch programs
· Elderly care, etc.
It is not difficult to discern a pattern, specifically a mixture of both support services for families and individuals along with practical measures like stricter supervising and monitoring, for example neighbourhood watch programs provided by municipalities, or caretaking programs for the elder population with aging issues such as dementia.
Unfortunately, even if we assume perfect preparation for the worst scenario, there will always be some unforunate incident that will lead to a missing person. When it comes to actual recovery measures, things get more practical with applicable stuff under current circumstances, with examples like:
- Authorities & police investigation
- Alert Services (e.g. Amber Alert)
- Public awareness (e.g. leaflets, notice boards)
- Voluntary search parties
- Tracking services
From these options available, tracking services have been a very viable option in recent years thanks mostly to the technological breakthroughs and inventions becoming available to the general public through a plethora of devices like smartphones and personal trackers. People have been using GPS and bluetooth tracking devices to track valuables, pets, even their children or elder family members.
Mytracknet has been developing both a software and hardware solution to provide a more cost and time effective product and service for the case of keeping safe those that mean the world to you.
Mytracknet’s proposal on tackling the problem
In order to address the issue of missing valuables, pets and even people at an individual level, we currently utilize bluetooth trackers that make use of crowd tracking technology (usually referred to as “crowd GPS” features).Those trackers work under “fragmented” networks, each supported only by the specific brand, meaning users of different devices cannot efficiently locate each other due to network restrictions.
Having a robust, sufficiently scaled network in order to scan for your lost item, which could range from simple keys to even a child’s backpack or an elderly person’s seatbelt can make all the difference in the world. In the case of a missing child for example, having a fully servicable, interconnected network with wide reach across town could be a very critical case in its swift recovery.
Mytracknet is being developed to solve problems like cases of missing people. We are developing an application that will unite personal tracking Bluetooth hardware (called bluetooth trackers) and integrate them to one massive global network consisting of trackers, smartphones and other smart devices.
Mytracknet pursues to build the next generation in both software and hardware in tracking solutions. Ideally, we want to provide the public with an open, free application, compatible with an increasing range of smart devices, contributing with a viable solution to the significant issue of missing items, pets and even people in a global scale.
Interested in Mytracknet?
Do you want to learn more about how Mytracknet can help your family or local community in the case of a missing person? Take a look at our “Introduction to the Tracking Industry” article piece, as well as our other Medium blog posts.
You are also welcome to find more about our work through our official website https://mytracknet.com/ . Be sure to send us a message if you have any questions by the means of our social media channels:
· Facebook : Mytracknet
· Twitter : @Mytracknet
· Email: firstname.lastname@example.org