A report by the German Interior Ministry revealed that 5,835 migrant children were missing last year, The Local reported yesterday. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) told The Local that the numbers could be distorted sometimes when missing children come up again. However, out of the 8,000 children who were reported as missing, only 2,171 have been found again. The Interior Ministry said the "missing, unaccompanied, underage refugee children came mainly from Afghanistan, Syria, Eritrea, Morocco and Algeria."
Meanwhile, Green Party politician Luise Amtsberg told Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) that the government should be on alert about missing children as they are the most vulnerable people looking for protection. Amtsberg emphasized that one of the biggest risks is that the missing migrant children may be victims of human trafficking, prostitution and exploitation and the government should take this risks seriously.
In January, the EU police agency Europol said over 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children had disappeared in Europe, fearing many have been whisked into trafficking rings or the slave trade.
"It's not unreasonable to say that we're looking at 10,000-plus children," Donald said, adding that 5,000 had disappeared in Italy alone.
"Not all of them will be criminally exploited; some might have been passed on to family members. We just don't know where they are, what they're doing or whom they are with."
The U.N. children's agency UNICEF had also voiced alarm and urged European countries to do more to protect migrant children who are on their own.