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Protecting migrant children on their move in Europe

Project time period


In the past few years, Europe has received large number of migrants. Many of the migrants are children who come to Europe without their parents or caretakers. Life for these children are anything but safe or simple, and many disappear. In this project, H&M Foundation aimed to protect and support these children together with Missing Children Europe.

Refugee in Europe

More than 250 000 children disappear each year in Europe. There are many reasons to why they go missing: the asylum process is too complex and takes too long, in addition, the chances to get an approval can be small. There’s no clear information on children’s rights or what services that are available to them. They can also go missing because they have been forced into sexual or labour exploitation, or are indebted to smugglers. Research has found that cases of migrant children are less prioritised than other child disappearances.

Regardless of why they go missing, once they disappear outside the protection systems, these children are extremely vulnerable – mentally, emotionally and to those who want to do them harm. Not investing in the protection of these children, will come at a great cost for the European societies.

Multi-level approach to close protection gaps

The H&M Foundation joined forces with Missing Children Europe, the European federation for missing and sexually exploited children, who represent a network of 29 NGO’s in 26 countries.

With a total donation of 11.3 million Swedish krona 2017-2021, our project aimed to close the protection gaps which lead to the disappearance and exploitation of children in migration.

Among other things a practical app was launched which can help map services and information on children’s rights in the country they find themselves in. The app was developed together with migrant children who have fled their home country.

Project Specifics

  • Financial Support: 11.3 million SEK
  • Period: 20172022
  • Project Status: Completed
  • Countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Sweden and United Kingdom
  • Focus Areas: Equality
  • Partners: Missing Children Europe

Children downloading the app by 2020: At least 20,000