UNICEF: 300000 children migrating solo – up nearly fivefold – Telegraph.co.uk

Authorities have documented more than 300,000 children migrating alone worldwide over a two-year period, marking a dramatic escalation of a trend that has forced many young refugees into slavery and prostitution, the UNĀ children’s agency said on Wednesday.

UNICEF said 170,000 of those children sought asylum in Europe in 2015-2016, many after making the treacherous trip across the Mediterranean Sea where hundreds of children are estimated to have drowned last year.

Nearly 92 percent of the boys and girls arriving by boat in Italy in 2016 and early 2017 came unaccompanied or had been separated from their relatives along the way, the report said. They came mainly from the African nations of Eritrea, Gambia, Nigeria, Egypt and Guinea, UNICEF said.

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