The fear of the fate of 39 young asylum seekers who have disappeared since 2017


Thirty-nine unaccompanied children who arrived in Ireland seeking asylum have disappeared without a trace over the past five years and their whereabouts remain unknown, official figures show.

statistics off Tuslathe state’s Children and Family Agency, show that 58 unaccompanied children who sought asylum between 2017 and 2021 went missing, 39 of whom were not found.

Gardaí and government officials are seriously concerned about the fate of the children.

“The real concern is that some of these children were trafficked, asked to enter the asylum process, then disappeared from government custody and forced to work in the sex industry,” said a well-informed source.

“Others probably work in the informal economy and some were probably young adults over 18 pretending to be younger. Some just ran away and we don’t know what became of them.

“But it’s really shocking and very concerning for the safety of children that we just don’t know the fate of so many of these children.”

Three teenagers went missing last year. In 2019, a total of 19 unaccompanied minors disappeared. All remain missing.

All unaccompanied minors arriving in Ireland are referred to Tusla’s Separated Children Seeking International Protection (SCSIP) team. Tusla works closely with other agencies to ensure that young people who are in difficult circumstances are cared for.

“Following referral to Tusla’s SCSIP, a child will receive an admission/best interest assessment which will examine his/her identity, family, known health conditions, travel to Ireland, significant pre-migration and migratory events and screening for trafficking indicators ‘ a spokesman said.

“The priority for unaccompanied children coming to Ireland is to place them with their families whenever possible.

“Where family reunification is not possible, children will be placed in appropriate accommodation that reflects the unique experiences and needs of unaccompanied children in Ireland.”

Support is offered to all unaccompanied, asylum-seeking children.

Tusla will notify gardaí if unaccompanied minors seeking asylum later disappear from state custody.

“You will be notified as soon as a child is found missing and after Tusla and the child’s caregivers have made all reasonable efforts to locate the child,” Tusla said.

“The child’s social worker and carers are continuing to check with people who may be able to assist with the investigation.” The fear of the fate of 39 young asylum seekers who have disappeared since 2017

Fry Electronics Team

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