The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sounded the alarm over the high number of missing children in Africa.
The committee published a report on the International Day of the Disappearance warning that more than 25,000 minors are missing across the continent.
This represents 40% of the 64,000 cases of missing persons in Africa, according to ICRC figures.
This has led thousands of people, including children to cross borders, the Sahara desert, and the Mediterranean Sea in search of a safe place and a better life, far from these conflicts.
Such movements carry great risks and disappearance is at the top of the list, according to the NGO.
“Unfortunately, the 25,000 cases recorded do not reflect the full extent of this tragic and often overlooked humanitarian problem according to the committee.
“There is no doubt that there are many more children who have no news of them,” said Patrick Youssef, the ICRC’s regional director for Africa.
During their travels, children face a number of risks such as exploitation, violence, psychological distress, and disappearance.
The ICRC has more than 5,200 documented cases of unaccompanied children in Africa, the statement said.
To promote a coherent and effective approach among the African States to prevent disappearances and better inform families about the fate of missing persons, the ICRC and the African Union organized a high-level meeting on missing migrants in Addis Ababa on 30 August.
In 2021, in partnership with Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC helped locate and clarify the fate of 4,200 people and reunited 1,200 families across Africa.
However, according to the ICRC, the number of documented cases of missing persons on the continent continues to rise.