More than 50K unaccompanied child migrants went missing in Europe: Survey

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Refugees at Vienna's Westbahnhof train station. [FiIle Photo]

A European journalism project revealed on Tuesday that more than 50,000 unaccompanied child migrants have gone missing after arriving in Europe.

According to the Lost in Europe project, Italy has the highest number of registered missing unaccompanied minors, with 22,899, followed by Austria (20,077), Belgium (2,241), Germany (2,005), and Switzerland (1,226). The project gathered data from 13 European countries between 2021 and 2023.

The actual number of missing children may be even higher due to unreliable and incomplete data collection practices in many European countries, which often do not systematically track missing unaccompanied minors.

These findings highlight the gravity of the issue, with thousands of children missing and their whereabouts unknown, according to the report.

Aagje Ieven, head of Missing Children Europe, emphasised that the increased reports of missing unaccompanied minors serve as a stark reminder of the significant problem that remains largely unseen.

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