According to Hellenic Police, the unaccompanied missing refugee children in Greece in 2014 and 2015 amount to 1,096, as 1,481 were reported missing and 385 were found. Greek police say that out of the 1,096 children missing, only 16 are girls. It is also clarified that these figures include refugee children who were reported missing more than once, thereby the actual number is lower.
The figures show that almost all the unaccompanied children missing are in the 15-18 age group, a small percentage are 10-14 and very few are under the age of 10.The largest number of unaccompanied children are from Afghanistan and Syria. The rest are mainly from Egypt, Pakistan, Iraq, Morocco, Bangladesh, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan and Algeria. Most of the unaccompanied migrant children are in Patras, from where refugees flee to Italy. Some of the minors, after escaping, return to accommodation establishments, but often those responsible for them fail to inform the Hellenic Police of the children’s return.
As thousands of refugees and migrants continue to enter Europe, children are being split from their parents in the chaos and being forced to continue their journey vulnerable and alone. In Hungary, seven Syrian teenagers told how police forced their parents and younger siblings on to tour buses to processing camps as they were left to fend for themselves on a motorway. Marah Babili, 19, told The Times she and six younger cousins had crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to reach Greece with a larger family group and journeyed north through Europe, aiming to reach Germany. “I don’t know what to do,” she said. “Suddenly I am the parent. It’s scary.”