This fall we’ll get underway on one of our most ambitious and consequential projects, “Missing Children”. In recent years children have arrive in Europe and simply disappeared. In most cases, the police are not even trying to find them. Nobody seems to care about the fate of these minors. And there are thousands of them. In 2016 more than 63,300 refugee and migrant children arrived alone in the EU. Half of them came from Syria and Afghanistan according to figures from the federation of European organizations Missing Children Europe. The same year Europol estimated that 10,000 children went missing.
But the European agency later admitted that this headline number was an estimate. In fact, they have no accurate picture and huge data gaps exist. But what they do know is that these children are vulnerable to human traffickers, smugglers, prostitution and other criminal networks. As it gets away “Missing Children” aims to fill in some of these gaps and find some of these children.
On the 27th of December 2018, we published our first report on Dutch national television (Dutch only) and spoke team members Soukaina Belahnichi and Klaas van Dijken about the project on Dutch radio.
We will work with Bellingcat and teams from the Dutch media, Nieuwsuur and Trouw, thanks to the financial support from the Media and Democracy Foundation and the Dutch Fund Fonds Bijzondere Journalistieke Projecten.
Photo by Daphne Tolis