MADELEINE McCann's mother today pleaded with the Government to protect
the families of missing people.
Kate McCann said there was "currently no legislation to protect missing
people and their families left behind".
She joined other mothers of vanished children outside the Commons as she
talked about the lack of emotional support available.
The 43-year-old held up a picture of daughter Maddie, who disappeared
from her family's holiday flat in the Algarve shortly before her fourth
She was speaking ahead of the first session of the parliamentary inquiry
into support for families of missing people.
Ann Coffey, chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Runaway
and Missing Children and Adults, said the MPs were examining what
"emotional, practical and legal support those families need to help them
cope at such a traumatic time".
Kate said: "If your house is burgled, you are automatically offered
victim support with emotional, practical and legal assistance.
"If your child goes missing, you may get nothing.
"This parliamentary inquiry has the potential to change that."
She added: "When someone you love goes missing, you are left with
unimaginable, unending heartbreak, confusion, guilt and worry.
"In addition to the reassurance that everything possible is being done
to find their missing loved one, families need support. And they should
be spared the additional pain of financial and legal bureaucracy."
Kate issued her appeal as Scotland Yard continues its review of the
investigation into her daughter's disappearance in Praia da Luz on May
Last month, Kate, from Rothley, Leicestershire, published a
highly-personal book about Maddie's disappearance in a bid to revive
efforts to find her daughter.
The official Portuguese inquiry into the disappearance was formally
shelved in July 2008, although private detectives employed by the
McCanns have continued the search.
... Kate McCann with Sarah Godwin, far left, and Nicki
Kate was joined by Sarah Godwin - whose son, Quentin, was 18 when he
went missing in New Zealand while on his way to an after-school job on
May 20, 1992 - and Nicki Durbin, whose son, Luke, 19, went missing four
The three mothers all held images of their missing loved ones.
Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive of Missing People, said: "From
dealing with finances, insurance policies, bank accounts and mortgages
through to having a missing person declared presumed dead, families left
behind often struggle to deal with institutions that have no system for
their clients going missing.
"This inquiry is a landmark opportunity for parliamentarians to ensure
that families are able to access the full range of support that they so