Martina Anderson MEP has said that the disturbing revelation that more than 10,000 refugee children are missing across the EU is proof, if more was ever needed, that Europe is failing appallingly in this humanitarian crisis.
Speaking in the EU Parliament today on the issue Ms Anderson said:
“The institutions of the EU have displayed nothing but continuous inhumanity by maintaining the ‘Fortress Europe’ approach to this crisis.
“It’s abundantly clear that the knee-jerk policies adopted by several member states are failing miserably. Families are torn apart and childhood innocence destroyed forever.
“According to Save the Children, an estimated 26,000 unaccompanied children entered Europe last year.
Following the debate Ms Anderson said:
“More than 10,000 refugee children are missing across the EU. Where are these children?
“Are they being trafficked for sex work or slave labour? Do EU agencies really care?
“It is accepted that an organised criminal infrastructure is exploiting the refugee crisis and European policy is making their job easier. Are these missing children victims of this criminal enterprise?
“We need to know where these children are and it is incumbent on EU governments and agencies to provide the resources to trace them.
“The provision of safe and legal access routes for refugees and asylum seekers is the only way to prevent this dreadfulness.
“10,000 children are missing, thousands more refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea attempting to reach safety on overcrowded and leaky boats because they do not have safe access to legal and safe passage.
“When Refugees arrive in Europe the safety and protection of unaccompanied child refugees is one of the most pressing issues that must be addressed.”