Our journalists work on a number of investigations that focus on uncovering the stories of missing child migrants in Europe. In the following investigations you can read the findings from our investigative research and reporting.
For years, Vietnamese child migrants have been 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 working on cannabis farms and in nail salons.
Our investigative journalists analyse asylum procedures and migration policies in the EU and research the gaps in the asylum process through which many child migrants disappear. They also analyse the mechanism by which these children remain outside the asylum system, which means that thousands of children do not receive adequate protection.
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 conditons in cities like Palermo. Such trafficking is not new but the numbers since the so-called migrant crisis began in 2015 have doubled.
For this investigation we document the migration routes unaccompanied child migrants take within Europe as well as the abuse and violence they are exposed on their journeys. We shine a light on how the most vulnerable children in Europe at risk of trafficking end up failing into the hands of criminal gangs who want to exploit them. By documenting the migratory routes they take, we have uncovered their harrowing stories.
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 like the Italian-French border. .
Brian Donald, Chief of Staff of Europol, declared that in 2015 "10,000 refugee children in the EU are missing". Meanwhile, the European Migration Network estimates that 30,000 children traveling alone have disappeared between 2014 and 2017. Where to find the exact numbers?
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.