Over 96,000 refugee children missing in Europe since 2015: AKP deputy chair

Over 96,000 refugee children missing in Europe since 2015: AKP deputy chair

Gizem Karakış – ANKARA
Over 96,000 refugee children missing in Europe since 2015: AKP deputy chair

Migrants hold a banner reading "failing to help minors in danger" as they demonstrate against the living conditions of unaccompanied migrant minors and the lack of accommodation, outside the departmental council building in Marseille, southern France, on Jan 11. (Gerard Julien / AFP)

The number of refugee children who have been missing in EU countries since 2015 is over 96,000, and their whereabouts remain unknown, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy chair for human rights Leyla Şahin Usta has told reporters.

“Just in Germany, there are 10,000 children missing. In 2016, the number of refugee children who traveled to Europe unaccompanied is over 63,000. These children’s whereabouts are unknown,” she said, basing the figures on a work carried out by the AKP called “Racism, migrant animosity, and children rights.”

The number of children refugees who live in Europe unaccompanied is 170,000, and these children are being subjected to sexual assault, rape, human trafficking, violence, slavery and illicit human organ trading, the AKP deputy chair said.

“There are around 1,000 children in France who are registered [officially] but whom we have not received news from,” she said.

“Europe needs to take a step. If we cannot solve this, no matter how many security precautions we take, these children can emerge as members of terrorist organizations in the future,” she said.

Usta also raised concerns over the “increasing tide of racism” around the world and said that Europe’s right-wing parties, with their “racist policies and discriminating discourses,” are on the rise.

Extremist right-wing parties take up 29 percent of the votes in Switzerland, 26 percent in Australia and 21 percent in Denmark, she said.

Usta stressed that Islamophobia in Europe has reached critical figures due to the “discriminating discourses of European politics.”

“In the U.K., there were over 2,000 Islamophobic attacks in 2017,” she said, adding that this figure was 2,599 in the U.S., 950 in Germany and 664 in Poland.

“Many European countries see migrants as threats. Some 78 percent of Austria, 68 percent of Norway and 66 percent of Hungary, Portugal and Belgium regard migrants as threats,” she added.

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