Today, Missing Children Europe launches a series of videos from young newcomers and young videographers based in Italy and Belgium. They want to spread the word about the Miniila app, a digital tool designed to help more young newcomers to stay safe and informed. 

The Miniila app gives children access to child friendly and up to date information on their rights and provides support wherever they are in Europe. It is tailored to the needs of children in migration, with a focus on facilitating access to understandable information about dedicated services such as shelter, food, and health in the area they are in.

“I want to contribute to the society I’m living in, and if the Miniila app can make other young people’s journey safer and better than mine, I want to help spread the word” – Yoones, a young newcomer from Afghanistan, who contributed to the campaign.

According to the European Migrant Network, between 2014-2017, more than 30.000 children in migration went missing in Europe and more are expected to go missing. One of the main reasons is that they lack access to trustworthy information, which forces them to rely on unverified information and on those who profit from their vulnerability. Once missing, and outside the protection system, children face situations of sexual/labour exploitation, trafficking and are exposed to serious risks to their mental and physical health. Many of these children have access to a smartphone to navigate towards safety and speak with family back home. Therefore, Missing Children Europe decided to leverage the smartphone as a tool to close the information gap and provide support that helps them stay safe.  

“When I arrived in Europe I was alone. I was 15 years old. It was very difficult for me to start a new life, I didn’t know anyone here. If I could have had this [Miniila] app during my journey, I would have got information from the organisations in different countries on my arrival.” – Taj, a young newcomer from Afghanistan, who contributed to the campaign. 

All services included in the app are provided by trusted NGOs and international organisations. Missing Children Europe has involved children throughout the development process to make sure that the app is attractive, trustworthy and responds to their needs. It is available in five languages (English, French, Arabic, Farsi and Tigrinya) and eight countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

In 2021, Missing Children Europe and partners hope to make Miniila available in two more European countries, to increase the accessibility of the app by offering an offline version, and to add new languages to make it more inclusive. 

Editor’s note:

Missing Children Europe is the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children. Missing Children Europe represents a network of 31 NGOs in 26 countries in Europe. We provide the link between research, policies and organisations on the ground to protect children from any kind of violence, abuse or neglect that is caused by or results from them going missing. 

The app was developed with the support of Livewall concepts

For more information on the Miniila app project, please go to our website, get in touch on Facebook, or write to:

Key partners in the development of the app and in the coordination of the dissemination in the countries involved are: