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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

Missing and exploited refugee children numbers rise

2016-11-26

Every two minutes, one child is reported missing in Europe. In 2015, 54 percent of these cases were runaways, around 30 percent were parental abductions and 2 percent were unaccompanied children running away. 

During the process of migration in 2015, 89,000 unaccompanied children arrived in the European Union. From that number, 10,000 children have been reported missing after being separated from their families, whether intentional or not. Many then become another staggering statistic of criminal exploitation facing authorities throughout Europe. 

FEDERICA TOSCANO
Missing Children Europe
"It is an increasing issue because trafficking leaders are increasingly targeting children that come to Europe from non-European countries. So when they are exploited, many fear that they'll end up in sexual exploitation. It is very difficult to obtain data on that, also because there is not really a follow-up on the cases of disappearances.” 

What is startling is that there is now an increase in younger children going missing. In fact, 29 percent of all children, accompanied and unaccompanied, asking for asylum in 2015 were under age 18 and 60,000 of them were below 14 years old. 

In order to reverse these trends, "Missing Children Europe” has asked governments to get involved and help the needy children in their country.

FEDERICA TOSCANO
Missing Children Europe
"It is also important that governments and authorities treat all children equally, and they don't use double standards because a child is not from the European Union. It's important to ask governments to make sure the right protection systems are in place and that these children, if missing, are treated as any other child.” 

However, upon arrival in these new countries, children are forced into survival mode, which is why they need additional government assistance. About 20 percent are assumed to sleep on the streets, 13 percent steal to survive and one in 12 children have an increased risk of being victims of abuse.

FEDERICA TOSCANO
Missing Children Europe
"It has been also important to hear Pope Francis talk about respecting refugees, welcoming children, treating all children equally, protecting children and ensuring that their rights are respected. Because the authority of the pope is something that several governments listen to and; therefore, it is important to make sure that his messages are sent out loud.”

The pope has been sending this message loud and clear to the public, both in his public addresses and in his actions in bringing refugees to Rome, meeting and eating with them and even inviting them around him during one of his General Audiences. 

"Missing Children Europe” hopes Pope Francis will inspire governments to help missing children in their respective countries, and return them to their safety, away from the risk of exploitation.


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