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Supporting Missing Children Europe to combat child disappearances

In 2016, over 60,000 children came to Europe without their parents or caretakers and in 2015, at least 10,000 unaccompanied migrant children disappeared within hours of being registered. The H&M Foundation has donated 11.3 million SEK over a three-year period to Missing Children Europe, the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children. The donation will be used to strengthen protection systems for children in migration.

“Irrespective of the reasons for going missing, once on the move or outside the protection systems, these children are extremely vulnerable – mentally and emotionally. Research has found that cases of migrant children are less prioritised than other child disappearances. We want to invest in the protection of these children and in the creation of a safe environment where they can develop their potential”, says Diana Amini, Global Manager at the H&M Foundation.

The donation will be directed to the AMINA Programme, a collaboration between Missing Children Europe and H&M Foundation. It is indirectly H&M’s customers that are financing the programme by leaving unwanted clothes to the garment collecting program in H&M stores. The surplus from this program is donated by H&M to the H&M Foundation and 50% of the total surplus is allocated to inclusion of marginalized groups.

The programme will ensure that children in migration know where they can get basic support like medical care, food and shelter through a mobile app. The app will map services and information on their rights in the country they find themselves in. It will be available in the languages they speak and will protect children’s privacy. All this will support migrant children to complete their journey across Europe, without having to turn to those who mean them harm. The programme will also address the worrying issue of missing children in migration for reasons linked to trafficking and exploitation by supporting actors working with children to be better equipped to work together at national and transnational level and by delivering specialised training.

Thanks to the financial support of the H&M Foundation, Missing Children Europe and its partners will be able to better address the needs of children in migration.

Delphine Moralis, Secretary General, Missing Children Europe

The AMINA programme will also launch a campaign to challenge the negative narrative and the distorted reality that often surrounds the topic of children in migration. A total of 50,000 people in eight countries will be targeted with the campaign, focusing on the opportunities for growth and empowerment for our societies and economies. In addition to this, the programme will work with policy and decision makers at national and EU level in ensuring that all decisions impacting life and the status of children in migration are based on their best interest.

The activities that are part of the AMINA programme will be the result of a collaborative effort with over 30 organisations from all over Europe. More information about the participating organisations is available on the Missing Children website.

“Thanks to the financial support of the H&M Foundation, Missing Children Europe and its partners will be able to better address the needs of children in migration. We now have the support and environment these children need to feel safe, have access to education, be reunited with family and become part of a story of dignity, love and unity that every child is entitled to”, says Delphine Moralis, Secretary General, Missing Children Europe.

For more information, please contact:

Federica Toscano
Head of Programme for children in migration, Missing Children Europe
Federica.toscano@missingchildreneurope.eu
+32 2 894 74 53
www.missingchildreneurope.eu

Malin Björne
PR & Communications Manager, H&M Foundation
malin.bjorne@hmfoundation.com
+46 (0)70 796 39 75