Germany Says 9,000 Refugee Children Missing

Germany Says 9,000 Refugee Children Missing Germany Says 9,000 Refugee Children Missing

Germany’s federal police says the number of missing refugee children has doubled since the start of the year. Most of the children are aged between 14 and 17-years-old. Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, Bundeskriminalamt, has confirmed that by July 1, 8,991 unaccompanied refugee children and young people had been reported missing.

The figures, which were requested by the German daily “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung,” showed the number of migrants no longer in contact with authorities was already higher than for the whole of last year. The figure has doubled from January, when 4,749 refugees were known to be missing, AFP reported.

Although most of those who disappeared are teenagers, 867 of them are under 13 years old.

Amid fears that young unaccompanied migrants are vulnerable to grooming by criminal gangs, the BKA said it had no concrete evidence that this was happening in large numbers.

“In many cases, it’s not like the children left without a plan. They wanted to visit their parents, relatives or friends in other German cities or even other European countries,” a BKA spokeswoman told the paper.

The police authority said it was possible that the increase could be partly explained by young people registering more than once with German authorities, for example after moving to a new area of the country.