Some refugee children in Slovakia go missing

Children from developing countries who are detained by the Slovak police often end up in drug or child slavery rings. Slovak police detain over 150 children without parents annually, the Sme daily wrote in its Wednesday, August 14, issue.

Children from developing countries who are detained by the Slovak police often end up in drug or child slavery rings. Slovak police detain over 150 children without parents annually, the Sme daily wrote in its Wednesday, August 14, issue.

These young refugees mostly come from Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Chechnya. They are placed in orphanages in Trenčín (boys) and Medzilaborce (girls) but after a four-day quarantine most of them disappear, says Human Rights League lawyer Alexandra Malangone.

Malangone told Sme that the children of refugees are usually contacted through mobile phones by human traffickers who send taxis to fetch them, and they often end up in forced labour abroad. Sometimes, fake recruitment agents lure them with the promise of lucrative work. The League warns that children are poorly informed about the risks, which makes them easy prey for traffickers.

The Centre of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, which operates the orphanages, argues that the children probably leave of their own will and as they are in their teens, they enjoy a certain level of freedom and they usually go to another country, as Slovakia is considered a transit country. Ministry spokesperson Peter Zeman said they have no information that children are being approached by people from outside the orphanages with offers to migrate to other countries.

The Human Rights League, a non-governmental organisation, has prepared the Disappearing Children project to draw attention to the problem and to investigate the fate of child refugees.

(Source: Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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