Our journalists work on a variety of investigations that uncover the stories of missing child migrants in Europe. In the following investigations you can learn about our findings.
Migrant Boat Drivers in the Dock
Over the past decade, Greek, Spanish and Italian border guards have increasingly targeted the drivers of migrant boats arriving on their countries’ shores, in their quest for someone to blame for “illegal” migration. Thousands of people, usually migrants themselves, have been arrested. Same may have been paid to drive the boat, others forced at gunpoint. Among them are unaccompanied minors.
Vietnamese Trafficking Investigation
Vietnamese child migrants are routinely trafficked into the UK in trucks arriving from Belgium or France. The UK is believed to be the end destination of a trafficking ring that starts in Vietnam via China and Russia into Europe. Our investigation in The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium revealed that children had disappeared from asylum shelters to be trafficked into the UK to end up in forced labour on cannabis farms and in nail salons.
Migration Routes Investigation
For this investigation we document the migration routes unaccompanied child migrants take within Europe as well as the abuse and violence they are exposed to on their journeys. We expose how these vulnerable children end up falling into the hands of criminal gangs who want to exploit them. Through documenting the migratory routes they take, we have uncovered their harrowing stories.
EU Migration Policies Investigation
Our investigative journalists analyse migration policies in the EU and research the gaps in the asylum process through which many child migrants disappear. They also examine the mechanism by which these children remain outside the asylum system, which means that thousands of children do not receive adequate protection.
Data and Statistics Investigation
In the last decade tens of thousands of child migrants have disappeared without trace in Europe. In 2021 our investigation found that at least 18,000 unaccompanied child migrants had disappeared after arriving in Europe between 2018 & 2020 — raising serious questions about the ability of European countries to protect child migrants. Our investigation has also found that the data about them is often inconsistent or incomplete, meaning the true numbers of missing children could be much higher.
Nigerian Trafficking Investigation
Thousands of Nigerian women and girls have been trafficked into forced sex slavery in Europe. Most are lured from Edo state with the promise of work and a better future in Italy, but instead end up at the mercy of trafficking gangs in slave-like conditions in cities like Palermo. Such trafficking is not new, but the numbers since the so-called ‘migrant crisis’ of 2015 have doubled.
Internal EU Borders Investigation
Thousands of child migrants travelling alone at EU internal borders face violence, abuse and are forced back into unsafe situations. Since 2020 there has been a gradual increase in interest by the media and the public in so-called pushbacks at Europe’s internal border. For this investigation we requested freedom of information (FoI) to16 EU member states and revealed that thousands of children are forced into a cycle of violent push-backs at the EU’s internal borders such as the Italian-French border.
Fatal Stress Investigation
Little is known about mental health issues and suicide attempts among migrants and refugees. That is why we are researching suicides and suicide attempts among unaccompanied migrants, refugee children and young people. We speak with mentors, pediatricians, psychologists, social workers, children and young people to get a better picture of this problem.