Tiny and Apollo want you to stand up for children on the move today
21 November 2019 – Missing Children Europe wants every child to be protected and healthy, no matter where they come from. However, children and youth who migrate to Europe face danger and indifference, which prevent them from accessing the support and protection they need. Data from only 14 EU countries show that between 2014 and 2017, 30.000 children went missing in the context of migration as they moved across Europe.
When children go missing during the migration process, they can end up homeless, hungry, sick and vulnerable. In Belgium, a building that was going to be converted into an asylum centre was likely torched. In Calais, children face large-scale evictions of makeshift refugee camps, worsening conditions and indifference. While in overcrowded Greek island camps, deteriorating health and reception conditions alongside new legislation complicate access to protection for migrants and asylum seekers, including children
To create a more welcoming society for all children, we must look at the way each of us talks about migration and the children affected by it. Our newest video campaign aims at creating empathy for children in migration by stimulating empowered discussion. It launches online and in European cinemas, starting in Belgium, today
“We cannot accept to see children treated with indifference, neglect and hate because of their origins or past. Everyone has a role to play in creating an empathetic, supportive and empowering society that respects all children. We encourage you to spark a conversation with the people in your life at every chance you get: at dinner with family, at a drink with friends. You can make a difference just by showing that you care.”
- Federica Toscano, Head of Programme - Children in Migration at Missing Children Europe
If you’re stuck, we have 5 tips to get you started. By individually stirring up solidarity with and compassion for children in migration, together we can create a welcoming society for all children. It begins with a single conversation.
We meet Tiny on the road. After a lonely and dangerous journey, the little car’s luck turns: Tiny stumbles upon an open race and immediately joins, excited to have the opportunity to show off! Tiny easily manoeuvres around the other cars until a rogue oil spill spoils the race. Although support services are available to the other cars, Tiny is treated differently and disappears.
Searching for protection, Apollo arrives in a new place. Like many children in reception centres, Apollo finds indifference and poor conditions rather than a warm welcome and comfortable bed. The centre is overcrowded and dirty, but Apollo stays the night anyway, too tired to continue searching for support. In this unsafe and unadapted environment, Apollo is vulnerable to danger.