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130 children missing after Calais refugee camp demolition

Apr 10 '16 | By La Afrique Media | Views: 74 | Comments: 0

After the demolition by French authorities of the makeshift shelters in the Calais refugee camp in January, the British charity Help Refugees UK announced that about 130 children are reportedly missing.

The charity posted on its Facebook account, "We are deeply shocked and very concerned to report that 129 unaccompanied minors cannot be accounted for,"

(REUTERS/PASCAL ROSSIGNOL)Two migrants watch the clearing of dismantled shelters at the camp known as the 'Jungle', a squalid sprawling camp in Calais, northern France, January 20, 2016.

Migrants housed in the camp clashed with the police to stop the demolition at that time but they were ignored. The southern section of the camp was bulldozed. Shortly after, children went missing, which prompted the charity to issue a plea to help find and bring the children to safety.

The French government is being looked down upon by the Help Refugees for their negligence in offering a safe environment for unaccompanied children.

"No alternative accommodation was provided for unaccompanied minors during the evictions, no assessment was made by the French authorities of their needs and no systems put in place to monitor them or provide safeguarding." The charity said as quoted by RT News.

Hellen Baillot, a researcher who has been studying the plight of unaccompanied minor migrants, told The National that the missing children are not capable of comprehending the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.

Refugee advocates are demanding for an investigation regarding the disappearance of the children. Some fear that the children may be now be victims of human trafficking or illegal network of child sex workers.

There is an estimated 10,000 missing refugee children in Europe since the crisis began and prior to the demolition in Calais, also known as "the Jungle," 3,500 people including several hundreds of unaccompanied children are part of that, according to Interpol.

"We call on the French authorities to put systems in place immediately to register and safeguard the children. With Interpol already reporting over 10,000 missing refugee children in Europe, we need to do everything possible to mitigate against the children in Calais and Dunkirk adding to these numbers," the charity challenges the government.

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