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Press release  |  16 April 2018

Mobile phone app provides safety to migrant children

In 2015 alone, more than 10,000 unaccompanied children went missing on the move through Europe and thousands more have continued to go missing since. Records shows that up to 50% of unaccompanied children go missing within the first 48 hours of being placed in European centres. With financial support from the H&M Foundation, Missing Children Europe is using smart technology to help young newcomers find their way to safety.
The Miniila mobile phone app features real-time and regionally specific information in their own language to make them feel safer in a new and unfamiliar country.

Miniila – which translates to “from…to” in Arabic – is a smart and innovative mobile phone app that has been launched at the second edition of the Lost in Migration conference in Brussels. The app has been developed together with migrant children who have fled their home country, leaving everything behind. But many of them have a smartphone and Missing Children Europe saw the opportunity of leveraging this crucial bit of technology to give these children access to information on their rights and the support services available wherever they are in Europe.

The result is an app that guides migrant children towards trustworthy people around them who can help provide shelter, food, health services, legal assistance, guardianship and more. It features real-time and regionally specific information in their own language to make them feel safer in a new and unfamiliar country. Miniila has been financially supported by the H&M Foundation as one component of a three-year collaboration and a total donation of 11.3 million SEK.

“The Miniila app is an innovative and at the same time a relatively easy way to support these children.”

Diana Amini, Global Manager at the H&M Foundation

“The app provides child friendly and updated information on the existing support services for migrant children, wherever they are, making the Miniila app a crucial source of information for children”, said Federica Toscano, Head of Programme for Children in Migration at Missing Children Europe.

“Irrespective of the reasons for going missing, once on the move or outside the protection systems, these children are extremely vulnerable – mentally and emotionally. We want to invest in the protection of these children and using smart technology and the Miniila app to support them is an innovative and at the same time easy way to do so”, says Diana Amini, Global Manager at the H&M Foundation.

The app, available in eight countries in Europe, is the concrete result of some of the recommendations that have been made by child rights experts to the European Commission and national leaders. It will empower children to make informed decisions and be better protected, rather than be forced to trust those who profit from their vulnerability.

More information on Miniila.com and on YouTube.

 

For media requests:

Malin Björne

Communications Manager, H&M Foundation
malin.bjorne@hmfoundation.com
+46 70 796 39 75

 

Lisa Bronselaer
Communications Officer, Missing Children Europe
lisa.bronselaer@missingchildreneurope.eu
+32 472 261 091

 

National statistics

Between 2014 and 2017 the equivalent of 60 classrooms of children from non-EU countries went missing in Sweden alone. In Italy where many children start their search for safety 5,828 migrant children went missing, while in Germany, a destination country, 8,991 unaccompanied children went missing in 2016 (10% of whom were under 13).
About the Miniila app

Miniila is the essential app for young newcomers and is specifically tailored to the needs of children on the move. It focuses on providing clear and child friendly information about dedicated services such as shelter, food, legal assistance, and health services in the area they are in, but also information on the rights of children in the EU and on relevant procedures for international protection and family reunification. The mobile app was developed in cooperation with software company trellyz, Translators Without Borders and Médecins du Monde and financed by the H&M Foundation. Other key partners involved are Save the Children (Radda Barnen, Sweden), Child Focus (Belgium), UK Refugee Council (United Kingdom), Médecins du Monde (Belgium) Terre des Hommes (Germany), The Nadja Centre Foundation (Bulgaria), Ecpat (France), The Smile of the Child (Greece), Telefono Azzurro (Italy) and Translators without Borders. More information on Miniila.com and on YouTube.

 

About our partnership with Missing Children Europe

Missing Children Europe is the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children and represent a network of 31 NGO’s in 27 countries. The H&M Foundation has joined forces with Missing Children Europe and with a total donation of 11.3 million SEK for a three-year period our project aims to close the protection gaps which lead to the disappearance and exploitation of children in migration.

Read more about our project with Missing Children.

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