Refugee children should be Europe’s big concern

Whenever a child goes missing, a huge frenzy starts. Thousands rush in and help search for the lost child. Although sometimes the search yields heart-breaking results, most of the time, the child is happily reunited with the family. This is what usually happens in most parts of the world, because no person with a good conscience would want any harm come to any child. They are innocent, guiltless and should never have to face any negativity. However, they are equally vulnerable and defenseless, and for that reason they deserve and need all the love, affection and protection we can give to them.

Yet, in Europe sometimes a child’s skin color makes people determine if he should be treated like a child. We know this because when children from war-torn regions of the world fled to Europe in hopes of finding safety, they faced a different -and arguably worse- threat there, even though Europe was supposed to be a safe haven for all. Most of the time, they were turned down, sometimes detained, beaten up and more often than not, treated like criminals. Sometimes, they were forced to stay in refugee camps that had no proper security, decent food, water or blankets. They were left exposed to risks like abuse, rape and trafficking, which regrettably happened very often. The so-called Calais Jungle in France was a shameful example of how refugee children regularly experienced sexual exploitation, violence and coerced labor.

And now, these innocent children, who did nothing to deserve any ill-treatment, are being increasingly targeted by human traffickers in Europe. The situation is so serious, in 2015 some 10,000 migrant children went missing in the middle of Europe, many of them within hours after being registered.[1]

Being taken by human traffickers entails sexual abuse, exploitation, slavery, forced labor, organ trafficking among others.

Normally this story would have caused a huge uproar. After all, 10,000 children are missing and are possibly being held by human traffickers who might be doing all sorts of unimaginable horrors to them. What makes this even worse is the fact that those children came to Europe because they were already running from danger and needed safety. So what happened when they vanished into thin air? After a couple of news reports, everything fell back into silence: Three years have passed and no one knows where these children are or what happened to them. As a matter of fact, no one is even looking for them. The traffickers are probably feeling quite confident at this point that they will not be interrupted.[2]

It wouldn't be wrong to say that with its non-caring, dismissive attitude, Europe has kept silent and unresponsive against the human traffickers. After all, they were taken while they were under the watch of the European authorities. In other words, they were the responsibility of European authorities, which utterly failed them. Therefore, it is Europe’s responsibility to correct this horrible situation and do everything it can to find and save these innocent people. There is no doubt that things would have been different if 10,000 European kids were missing. The full force of law enforcement would be unleashed on the traffickers, posters would be plastered on every available surface, the media and the politicians would be talking about it non-stop and regular citizens would be rallying and demanding their safe return.

Surely, many European leaders and most Europeans are also very uncomfortable with the current cold-hearted attitude that these children are being shown. However, it is important to translate this discomfort to concrete steps and prevent such outcomes by treating everyone with the same care and respect regardless of their origins.  Europe shouldn't allow its actions or reactions to be determined by people’s nationality, especially when it is a matter of life and death, a matter of basic humanity.

It definitely cannot be very difficult for European law enforcement to locate 10,000 children, especially considering the fact that they are fully knowledgeable about the criminal groups involved. After all, they detected this mass movement of the disappearance of 10,000 children from refugee facilities, and certainly have the police forces and resources to find out more. 

It is crucial that Europe acts quickly to solve this problem. Europe is a continent known as champion of human rights and equality. Europe is mostly known as a safe land and a welcoming humane face for all people regardless of their differences. Acting upon the case of missing 10,000 children is a good opportunity for Europe to show that these are true. Europe should show to the world that non-European children are not less worthy than their European peers. Europe should make use of its military, intelligence, political, and judicial means at all ways to save these innocent and defenseless ones without losing any longer time.


[1] http://missingchildreneurope.eu/Portals/0/Docs/Annual and Data reports/Missing Children Europe figures and trends 2016.pdf

[2] http://missingchildreneurope.eu/news/Post/1023/Europol-confirms-the-disappearance-of-10-000-migrant-children-in-Europe

Adnan Oktar's piece in Hindustan Times (India) & Jefferson Corner (USA):

http://www.jeffersoncorner.com/refugee-children-should-be-europes-big-concern/

2018-05-27 23:55:43

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