The paper presents the outcomes of local hubs organised in the context of the Lost in Migration conference of Missing Children Europe. The conference brings together young newcomers, professionals, and European policy makers to discuss migration-related issues that affect children and young people and lead them to going missing. Based on the ideas of 16 young newcomers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Gambia, Bangladesh, and Venezuela, seven local hubs took place across Europe, allowing young people to share their experience.
Data provided by Lost in Europe estimates that at least 18,292 refugee children have disappeared from asylum seekers' centres in Europe between 2018 and 2020, and the actual figure is expected to be much higher. Children in migration might go missing in two main ways: they might disengage from services provided for them, or become victims of (re-)trafficking.
The discussions with young people in the local hubs, summarised in the paper, present the main reasons why children leave social services, as well as their and their experiences. The publication discusses the main challenges, including:
- Access to quality reception services
- Documentation and regularisation
- Asylum and family reunification procedures
- Access to information
- Access to education, work and training
- Transition to adulthood
- Being seen and heard
- Investigations into missing children