|graphic is from here|
This month marks the 198th anniversary of Frederick Douglass's birth. He was a firm believer in the equality of all peoples, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant.
"I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong."
— Frederick Douglass
More than 10,000 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children have disappeared in Europe, the EU police agency Europol said on Sunday, fearing many have been whisked into sex trafficking rings or the slave trade.
Europol's press office confirmed to Al Jazeera the figures published in British newspaper The Observer. [See: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/fears-for-missing-child-refugees]
The number relates to the past 18-24 months.
Brian Donald, the agency's chief of staff, said that the vulnerable children had disappeared from the system after registering with state authorities after their arrival in Europe.
"It's not unreasonable to say that we're looking at 10,000-plus children," Donald told The Observer, adding that 5,000 had disappeared in Italy alone.
"Not all of them will be criminally exploited; some might have been passed on to family members. We just don't know where they are, what they're doing or whom they are with."
Donald said there was evidence of a "criminal infrastructure" established since mid-2014 to exploit the refugee flow.
The Observer reported that Europol found evidence of links between smuggling rings bringing people into the European Union and human trafficking gangs exploiting migrants for sex and slavery.
"There are prisons in Germany and Hungary where the vast majority of people arrested and placed there are in relation to criminal activity surrounding the migrant crisis," Donald said.
More than one million migrants and refugees, many fleeing the Syria conflict, crossed into Europe last year.
"Whether they are registered or not, we're talking about 270,000 children," Donald told the paper.
"Not all of those are unaccompanied, but we also have evidence that a large proportion might be," he said, adding that the 10,000 is likely to be a conservative estimate.
Keeping in mind that the Western world, and the white First World is deeply invested in slavery and sex trafficking, we have this report from The New York Times, January 28, 2016:
WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services placed more than a dozen immigrant children in the custody of human traffickers after it failed to conduct background checks of caregivers, according to a Senate report released on Thursday.
Examining how the federal agency processes minors who arrive at the border without a guardian, lawmakers said they found that it had not followed basic practices of child welfare agencies, like making home visits.
The Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations opened its inquiry after law enforcement officials uncovered a human trafficking ring in Marion, Ohio, last year. At least six children were lured to the United States from Guatemala with the promise of a better life, then were made to work on egg farms. The children, as young as 14, had been in federal custody before being entrusted to the traffickers.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio and the chairman of the subcommittee. “But what makes the Marion cases even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”
In addition to the Marion cases, the investigation found evidence that 13 other children had been trafficked after officials handed them over to adults who were supposed to care for them during their immigration proceedings. An additional 15 cases exhibited some signs of trafficking.
The report also said that it was unclear how many of the approximately 90,000 children the agency had placed in the past two years fell prey to traffickers, including sex traffickers, because it does not keep track of such cases.
“Whatever your views on immigration policy, everyone can agree that the administration has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the migrant kids that have entered government custody until their immigration court date,” Mr. Portman said.