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Technology integration and innovation to identify and prevent the disappearance of children and adolescents with disabilities

Grant number: 09/53556-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Research in Public Policies
Duration: September 01, 2010 - December 31, 2012
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Medicine - Legal Medicine and Deontology
Principal Investigator:Gilka Jorge Figaro Gattas
Grantee:Gilka Jorge Figaro Gattas
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina (FM). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Partner institutions: Secretaria dos Direitos da Pessoa com Deficiência (São Paulo - Estado)


The disappearance of children and adolescents is a serious problem in Brazil, where the records are alarming about 40,000 cases a year and about 9,000 only in the State of São Paulo, according to data from the Civil Police. Among children and adolescents, disappearances occur mainly by running away from home as a result of domestic violence (physical abuse, intrafamilial sexual abuse, domestic violence, psychological violence and neglect), family conflicts of everyday life, alcohol and drugs or simply desire of adventure and to explore the world. However, disappearances can also occur by kidnapping, that is, when strangers or relatives withdraw these children from their homes or even hospitals without the consent of parents or guardians, and they may never return back home. Many adults may be missing due to hospitalization and consequently unable to inform their identification. The difficulty to collect information about their identity or the corresponding family can occur especially when the child or teenager found missing have disabilities. In fact, missing children and teenagers with disabilities may be referred to shelters where they are likely to remain indefinitely as the family cannot be located because of physical and/or intellectual limitations of these individuals. Given the seriousness of this phenomenon, there are few initiatives in Brazil for developing and using technologies to help find missing persons, and in psychological support to families living this tragedy. Therefore, it becomes a priority the development of national multidisciplinary research to achieve these goals to integrate different departments of the academy and sectors of the society. The integration of technological and scientific issues in the areas of Genetics, Molecular Biology, Psychology, Law, Image Processing and Pattern Recognition, can be achieved by the group of researchers and experts that propose this project, keen to face the inherent challenges and also establish scientific and technological solutions to this problem. (AU)

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