More than 89,000 unaccompanied children arrived in the European Union in 2015, which represents a dramatic increase from to the 23,000 unaccompanied children arriving in 2014.
According to Europol, 10,000 of these children have disappeared within hours of being registered and only a handful have been found since. However, national reports seem to suggest that the number of missing unaccompanied children could be much higher, and that many children go missing before being registered by authorities.
“Children arriving in Europe to escape war, poverty and prosecution in their country, face real risks of falling victim to trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced marriage and economic exploitation, including forced donation of organs, forced drug smuggling and begging. A worrying number of these children are never found“, said Maud de Boer Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and President of Missing Children Europe.
A new report published by Missing Children EU demonstrates that improved training on the prevention and response to child disappearance is needed for those working with the thousands of children who arrive in Europe alone.
This is why the Missing Children EU decided to organize a training event to present best practices. It will be held in April to allow for the dissemination of this knowledge and resources at a grass roots level. We need to step up efforts now before a generation of vulnerable children are lost forever. If you want to join it click here.