An investigation by the Guardian found that over 18,000 unaccompanied migrant children have gone missing in Europe since 2018.
“Most of the children who have gone missing over the past three years came to Europe from Morocco, but Algeria, Eritrea, Guinea and Afghanistan were also among the top countries of origin,” according to the Guardian. “According to the data available, 90% were boys and about one in six were younger than 15.”
Where did they go? Experts worry that they were sold into criminal organizations for exploitation and trafficking. In 2019, the report found 60 Vietnamese children had disappeared into Dutch shelters and trafficked to Britain to work on cannabis farms and in nail salons.
Very little data is collected on migrant children and they sort of fall through the cracks. For all the outrage about this at the U.S. border, this is clearly not a uniquely American problem. The European Union says that they find this report of “deep concern” and need to take action to collaborate with member states to prevent and respond to this.