Missing children in migration

Children in migration - children who migrated from their country of origin fleeing conflict or persecution, in search of survival, security, improved standards of living, education, economic opportunities, protection from exploitation and abuse, family reunification or a combination of these or other factors, whose presence became known to authorities or caregivers of the country in which the child arrives and whose whereabouts cannot be established. Tens of thousands of young newcomers escaping violence or poverty continue to go missing in Europe. Concern over the fate of these children relates to the increasing crossover between the smugglers who bring these children to Europe in risky and dangerous circumstances, and the traffickers who then force these children into sexual and labour exploitation as well as criminal and begging rings.

Facts & Figures

Over 18,000

migrant and refugee children went missing in Europe between 2018-2020.


of the missing children in migration reported to hotlines in 2019 were found within the year.

Children in migration

are underreported to our hotlines or the police, which is worrisome.



The useful app tailored to the needs of children in migration, with a focus on facilitating access to dedicated services in the area in which they find themselves and inform young newcomers on their rights in the country where they are.

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The project works towards a more efficient cooperation across borders for the protection of children in migration from trafficking and exploitation. 54 organisations and agencies in 6 countries have participated in this initiative and practical guidance with best practices is now available in 5 languages.

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Safeguarding Unaccompanied Migrant Minors from going Missing by Identifying Best Practices and Training Actors on Interagency Cooperation is a research project that investigated why children in migration go missing, the strategies to prevent children going missing and how to better react to disappearances.

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The Initiative for Children in Migration – Learn more


Lost in Migration

Lost in Migration is an annual conference where young newcomers, professionals and European policy makers meet to discuss migration-related issues that affect children and young people and that leads children and young people to go missing.

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