The story of 10-year-old Kasia, who was kidnapped in Poland and found in Germany, after a missing person’s alert was introduced by the Polish police into the Schengen Information System (SIS), is a reminder of how EU policies save lives.
The Schengen Information System (SIS) is the largest information sharing system for security and border management in Europe, providing information on wanted or missing persons.
Since 1995, SIS compensates for the absence of border controls in the Schengen area and has proven to be the most successful cross-border monitoring tool for security, border management, immigration, customs, and police and judicial cooperation in the EU and all Schengen associated countries. SIS was instrumental to the safe return of a kidnapped child, less than 24 hours after she was captured.
Thanks to SIS, competent national authorities, such as police and border guards, can enter and consult alerts on wanted people and objects in one common European database. These people and objects can then be located anywhere within the EU and the Schengen area during police, border or other lawful checks.
Following its success in preserving security within the largest borderless area in the world, SIS was renewed in 2013. The second SIS generation was rolled out with additional functionalities – for instance, the possibility of attaching fingerprints and photographs to alerts.
In March 2023, SIS was further enhanced to include new categories of alerts, upgraded data, including biometrics such as palmprints, fingerprints, and DNA records to link with missing persons’ alerts, and additional tools to combat international crime and terrorism. The new SIS is the foundation of the most advanced border management system in the world.
Find out more about Kasia’s story, and how SIS helped save her life.
- Publication date
- 19 September 2023
- Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs