Save the Children Releases Report on Unaccompanied Refugee Children at Risk in the Balkins
An estimated 1,300 unaccompanied child refugees and migrants are at an increased risk of exploitation, violence, and trafficking due to the restrictive border policies and inadequate social protection systems across the Balkans, 12 national and international nongovernmental organizations including the International Rescue Committee and Save the Children warn in a report released in April.
Some national systems along the route are failing to identify and adequately support these severely vulnerable children, some as young as nine, who have fled war or poverty and traveled under the radar for thousands of kilometers without parent or guardian. They are invisible to the authorities, and in some cases even when identified, they are placed in inadequate conditions, sometimes even detained. This is causing desperation and pushing many into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, who children see as their only way out.