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Act now for families of missing people

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7:22am 18th July 2011

On Monday 18 June 2011 at 10.30am, Peter Lawrence, the father of missing Claudia Lawrence will join with other families of missing people, and celebrity supporters of the charity Missing People at No 10 Downing Street to present the Government with key recommendations from June's Parliamentary Inquiry into the 'Missing Rights' of families of missing people.

Rachel Elias, sister of missing Manic Street Preachers' guitarist Richey Edwards, and Nicki Durbin, mother of missing Luke Durbin will also present the document, along with high profile supporters of the charity Missing People Holly Valance and Nick Candy, and the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Runaway and Missing Children and Adults, Ann Coffey MP.

This event also coincides with the announcement that the Justice Select Committee is to launch an official Inquiry into Presumption of Death legislation - the focus of one of last month's Parliamentary Inquiry's four sessions.

Peter Lawrence said:

"I am pleased that the Prime Minister is taking an interest in the 'Missing Rights' issue and hope that this will ensure something will soon be done to help those families who find themselves in difficulties.

"I also welcome the Justice Select Committee's decision to investigate Presumption of Death legislation and other relevant models, including, I hope, Australia's, in their own Inquiry."

Ann Coffey MP, said:

"The needs of this group of victims must be met, and the Government must listen to the voices of the families and professionals reflected in the recommendations within this report.

"None are particularly costly and yet, if implemented, would make all the difference in the world to the families."

The Inquiry, the first in the UK to examine the rights of families of missing people, came about after the APPG heard about the charity Missing People's 'Missing Rights' campaign to give families of missing people the same basic rights as victims of crime.

Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of Missing People, said:

"As it stands, if your house is burgled you are automatically offered emotional, practical and legal support. If your child goes missing you may get nothing.

"We look forward to the Government's response to this Inquiry and the announcement that the Justice Select Committee is to examine the need for a Presumption of Death Act indicates the continued belief across the political spectrum that providing the families of missing people with the right support and legal powers is the decent thing to do."

To show your support for the families of missing people please leave a message on Missing People's Wall of Reminders click here

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