Some 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children have disappeared in Europe since their registered arrivals, according to Europol. The EU police agency fears many may have been forced into sex rings or the slave trade.
Europe’s police agency has confirmed figures shared with British daily “The Observer” that at least 10,000 children have vanished in the past 18 to 24 months since arriving among refugees from conflict regions such as Syria.
“It’s not unreasonable to say that we’re looking at 10,000-plus children,” the agency’s chief of staff Brian Donald told the newspaper, adding that 10,000 was likely to be a conservative estimate.
Donald conceded that some unaccompanied minors might have since been reunited with refugee family members, but said their whereabouts remained unexplained.