What is 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.

Lost in Migration is organised by Missing Children Europe and the Malta Foundation for Wellbeing of Society.

Previous Editions

About the Lost in Migration 2021 Edition

Too often children and young people are not consulted on crucial decisions that drastically impact their lives. We believe that their experience and opinions matter!

That’s why in 2021 we gave them a seat at the table with policy makers to drive the discussion on core issues to them on going missing, and their experiences while on the move in Europe.

In 2020, we asked young people their thoughts on the next edition of Lost in Migration and to engage their peers and the decision makers in making tangible progress on the protection of children in migration. One of the ideas they suggested was holding local hubs for a real hybrid conference.

As a result, the Lost in Migration 2021 consisted of two parts!

Part one: In the course of November young people were leading local hubs across Europe (in Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy and Malta). The aim was to connect key stakeholders to discuss the challenges faced by children in migration, drivers of them going missing, and potential solutions. Read the local hub report here.

Part two: In December 2021, young newcomers shared the outcomes of the local hubs and drove discussions with high-level European and national policymakers on going missing in migration. Read the final conference report here and the conference recommendations here.

Lost in Migration, fourth edition (2020):

Missing Children Europe brought together 16 young newcomers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Gambia, Bangladesh, and Venezuela in an online conference, and empowered them to become leaders in the development of the next edition of Lost in Migration.

Through a joint reflection on meaningful youth participation in their host societies and personal experiences, young people brainstormed over what could be the most effective ways to engage with other young newcomers and with European decision makers. They expressed themselves through words, music, and art


I am very grateful for Missing Children Europe organising such a great conference [Lost in migration]. As a migrant I feel safe speaking to people who stand with migrants under all circumstances and are willing to hear me speak and respect my ideas.

– Maria, 22-year-old participant of the 2020 Lost in Migration youth

Lost in Migration, third edition (2019):

In 2019 Missing Children Europe and the President Foundation for the Wellbeing of the Society (Malta) stressed the need to go beyond the protection needs of the child in Europe to look essentially at the child’s journey in its entirety.

More than 160 participants from the civil society, EU, national and local authorities and decision making bodies, as well as experts and academia, looked at the different experiences that children face on their way to Europe. This included how those experiences affect their wellbeing while on the move and in Europe, and the responsibilities of each Member State and beyond to protect children from harm.

They discussed the need for better cross border cooperation within and outside the EU, the global political commitments ahead of the EU upcoming elections, and the implementation progress of the European Commission Communication at all levels.

Download the recommendations of the third edition here.

Lost in Migration, second edition (2018):

Following the ​Commission Communication on the protection of children in migration (2017), Missing Children Europe held its second edition of the conference ‘From European priorities to local realities’​ in April 2018.

This was held together with the​ ​President Foundation for the Wellbeing of the Society (Malta),​ ​the Alliance of European Liberals and Democrats in the European Parliament​ ​(​ALDE​),​ ​the ​Intergroup on the Rights of the Child​,​ ​the​ ​European Programme on Integration and Migration and the Partnership on the Inclusion of Migrants and Refugees of the ​Urban Agenda for the EU​.​  177 experts took stock of the progress achieved since the adoption of the EC Communication and discussed the challenges and best practices at the local level.

Download the recommendations of the second edition here.

Lost in Migration, first edition (2017):

Coinciding with the European Justice and Home Affairs Council, Missing Children Europe and President Foundation for the Wellbeing of the Society (Malta), with the support of the European Programme on Integration and Migration (EPIM), brought together 160 professionals and experts to discuss the child protection challenges that lead to disappearances of these children. The forum called on the EU to adopt a comprehensive strategy for the protection of children in migration.

Download the recommendations of the first edition here.

Contact person

Louise Bonneau

Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer

Contact us


With financial support from the “Rights, Equality and Citizenship 2014-2020” Programme of the European Union

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