Hilal is ten years old, as she leaves the apartment of her parents in the Hamburg district of Lurup for the last Time. She has brought that day a good school report home. As a reward the father gives her a Mark. The girl wants to buy sweets in the middle of the shopping centre and not return.

That was 21 years ago. Since then, Hilal is one of more than 1800 children, which apply in Germany, as missing. The number of the Federal criminal police office (BKA) at first glance seems extremely high. Fortunately, however, cases such as that of Hilal are the exception. The vast majority of children emerge after a short period of time. According to the BKA, the “proportion of children, whose whereabouts can also be used after a longer period of time is not clarified, very low”.

parents can experience again and again, “crushing disappointment”

The clear-up rate in the past years, well over 90 percent. Nevertheless, There are cases where children, for years or even gone forever to stay. “For parents who miss a child, represents the uncertainty about the fate of the child is an extremely stressful Situation,” says Bianca Biwer, managing Director of the White ring. The consequences of anxiety disorders, and feelings of guilt were.

a “recurring crushing disappointment,” says Biwer of the news Agency dpa come in many. As an example, she cites a mother, the hopes, even after 30 years, still at each ringing of the phone or at the door, that it was their missing daughter. The White Ring is cared for parents whose children are missing, some for a very long time. The people would need to be stabilised”, in spite of the Situation, nor is it a life of its own life. This is difficult for the person Concerned.”

the pictures of The part for years, wanted children burn themselves into the memory. Since the then three-year-old British girl Maddie McCann disappeared in 2007 from a holiday apartment in Portugal. Or the student, Rebecca, who was last seen over a year ago in the house of her sister in Berlin.

football Clubs share Videos of missing children

On the 25. May – the day of the missing children back their destinies once again, especially in the center. Over 50 football clubs want to use in the whole of Europe on their Social Media channels to help in the search for missing children. Clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, FC Liverpool and FC Barcelona are Videos of children that are missing.

The day of action will be organized in Germany since 2003, from the White Ring, and the Missing children. But why on 25. May?

The Boy on the milk carton

The day of the missing children or Missing Children’s Day comes originally from the USA. There, disappeared on the 25. May, 41 years ago, the six-year-old Etan Patz. His mother had allowed him then, for the first Time, to go all the way to the school bus in New York’s SoHo district alone. You looked at him, as he crossed the only road crossing on the way – but in the last meters Etan vanished without a trace.

The case sparked a huge search operation. For the first Time, the police printed bags the face of a wanted child in the milk. Millions of Americans looked on the Breakfast table in the face of a small boy. The then-US President Ronald Reagan said in 1983, the 25. May for the national day of remembrance for missing children.

in 2017, a longer suspect the man of murdering Etan Patz was found guilty – the child’s body was never found.

In the US, for example, more than 460,000 children a year reported missing. In the UK there are about 113,000, and in Germany, around 100,000. These Figures have been gathered by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and released. The Problem: “In many countries, there are no statistics on the number of disappeared children,” said the centre.

Also, the number of children, the areas in war or on the run to disappear, is difficult to estimate. According to the UN children’s Fund, UNICEF, unaccompanied children and young people are at risk on the run to be victims of exploitation, abuse and violence. Often they are to take advantage of depending on the criminal smugglers who have no qualms about their plight.

the risk of criminal and sexual exploitation

In Germany are registered according to the Federal government about 1,800 unaccompanied minors refugees as missing in action (March 2020). Part of it is included in the number of 1800 missing children. This can be explained so: As in Germany, missing children, all are counted Under-14-Year-old. In the case of the unaccompanied Minors on the flight, the young people will be added, so all of those are between the ages of 14 and 18 years old.

reasons for the Disappearance of minors are, for example, to family members within Germany or Europe – but also the dissatisfaction with their accommodation.

The specialist Federal organisation on Unaccompanied minor refugees also declared that it could not be excluded that part of the reported missing Minors would be exploited by Criminals. So there is evidence that underage refugees are forced to Prostitution and theft, because you still have to pay debts to tug back.

author: Mirjam Benecke

*The contribution of “Missing children: High clear-up rate” is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

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