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UNICEF Urges Action to Keep Child Migrants Safe
   2016-02-02 19:57:25    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Shaotong

The EU police agency Europol says that over 10-thousand unaccompanied migrant children have disappeared in Europe.

They fear that many have been whisked into sex trafficking rings or the modern slave trade.

The agency's chief of staff Brian Donald said there was evidence of a "criminal infrastructure" established over the last 18 months to exploit the migrant flow.

"I think our concern is that we know that there are people out there who will exploit minors. We know there are people who will take them and use them for their own purposes. We're just trying to raise awareness that this is something that everybody should be aware of."

But he also added not all of them have necessarily been criminally exploited; some might have been passed on to family members.

Spokesperson for the United Nations Children's Fund, Sarah Crowe, said it is urgent to set up a programme to protect migrant children.

"What urgently needs to be done is a much more effective guardianship programme and foster care, so not institutional care, but that children are incorporated into the welfare programmes within Europe. And what this points to, the lack of information, the lack of a really unified response, is really a failure of child protection systems across the region, and this is of great concern to us."

Greek charity Meta-Action, a group accompanying children who travel without relatives, has helped 3,000 children reach family.

Over one million migrants and refugees, many fleeing the Syrian conflict, crossed into Europe last year.

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