Kenya Partners with Meta to Launch Emergency Child Alert for Missing Children

March 20, 2024

In a bid to aid in the recovery of missing children and people, Kenya has launched its first Emergency Child Alert (KECA) program.

The program is a collaboration between the Directorate of Criminal Investigation’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit, Meta, and the Missing Child organization.

During the launch on Monday, Interior PS Raymond Omollo said the program will issue prompt alerts through Meta applications, Facebook and Instagram.

“We have officially launched the Kenya Emergency Child Alert (KECA) program¬†that leverages the extensive reach of Facebook and Instagram to promptly notify users about abducted children, aiding in their recovery,” Omollo said.

“This initiative is part of the Meta Amber Alerts program and Kenya becomes the 34th country worldwide and the 3rd in Africa to adopt this crucial technological innovation, following South Africa and Nigeria.”

How Meta Amber Alerts Work

According to the Ministry of Interior, the new technology is intended to assist in locating missing children by leveraging the extensive network of Facebook and Instagram to promptly inform users about missing children.

The Amber Alert system, which is rare and specific to a search area, activates alerts only if users have enabled them, utilizing various signals and location services.

These alerts include crucial details about the missing child, such as a photo, description, location of the abduction, and any other available information. If law enforcement activates an Amber Alert and you are within the designated search area, the alert will appear in your feed.

“Since Meta launched Amber Alerts in 2015, they have assisted in hundreds of successful child endangerment cases in the United States and around the world,” said Missing Child Foundation CEO Maryanne Munyendo.

“We know that the chances of finding a missing child increase when more people are on the lookout, especially in the first few hours. With this update, if an amber alert is activated by law enforcement and you are in the designated search area, the alert will appear in your feed.”

Kenya has become the 34th country globally to embrace this technological innovation.



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