Baku. 3 February. REPORT.AZ/ As of January 1st, 4,749 unaccompanied refugee children and teens had been reported missing, a German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) spokesperson told Frankfurter Rundschau (FR) on Tuesday.
Report informs referring to foreign media, about 10 percent, or 431, of those children were under the age of 13 and 4,287 were between the ages of 14 and 17. The remaining 31 were over 18.
This is a sharp rise from six months ago in July when 1,637 were reported missing.
The BKA told The Local that sometimes missing children will turn up again and that the numbers could be distorted if one child is reported as missing in multiple places, or with slightly different personal information.
But the BKA said that they could not rule out that some of the children had been victims of crime.
Europol reported on Sunday that at least 10,000 refugee children had gone missing in Europe over the last 24 months.
"This does not mean that something happened to all of them," a Europol spokesperson had told DPA regarding the report. "A portion of the children could in fact be staying with relatives. But it does mean that these children are potentially at risk."
The president of the German Child Protection Agency, Heinz Hilgers, told FR that unaccompanied children can be "easy targets" and could be exploited by criminals.