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Calais Jungle refugee children being raped in camp, aid workers claim

Published 05/03/2016

Volunteers in the Calais camp have spoken out about the lack of procedure in reporting serious cases of sexual abuse. [File photo]
Volunteers in the Calais camp have spoken out about the lack of procedure in reporting serious cases of sexual abuse. [File photo]

Teenage boys are being raped in the Calais Jungle, aid workers have claimed, amid concerns over the lack of child protection measures in place in the refugee camp – and the risks of abuse facing thousands of displaced children across the continent.

Medical volunteers helping those camped outside the French town told The Independent they have treated seven boys aged between 14 and 16 in the past six months. who claimed to have been raped. They all had injuries consistent with these claims.

Europol has raised concerns that unaccompanied refugee children across the continent are at high risk of sexual exploitation [File photo]
Europol has raised concerns that unaccompanied refugee children across the continent are at high risk of sexual exploitation [File photo]

In four cases, the boys required surgery. Only one attended hospital, however, with the others refusing treatment for fear of repercussions or through shame at having been abused.

The Independent newspaper spoke to a GMC-registered doctor to whom the volunteers reported the incidents. He confirmed knowledge of the cases.

Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, has also raised concerns that unaccompanied refugee children across the continent are at high risk of sexual exploitation. 

In January, a senior representative of Europol estimated that 10,000 unaccompanied children had gone missing within Europe.

Volunteers in the Calais camp have spoken out about the lack of procedure in reporting serious cases of sexual abuse. They add that the French government’s refusal to classify the camp as a humanitarian crisis is causing major child protection issues.

“If I took one of the boys to the police and said ‘I’m one of the medics and I know this boy has been sexually abused’, I could guarantee they would shrug their shoulders and continue their conversation,” said one of the volunteers.

“I have three boys of my own and this is horrendous,” they added. “These boys would have left their homes and their parents would have thought they were safe and that they were going to a better life, fleeing violence and they end up at 14 being raped in a refugee camp. That it is going on in Europe makes it even more unacceptable.”

The volunteers said they referred the reports to Médecins Sans Frontières, the largest organisation operating within the camp.

Migrants run past burning tents in a makeshift camp near Calais, France, Monday Feb. 29, 2016. French authorities have begun dismantling part of the sprawling camp locally referred to as
Migrants run past burning tents in a makeshift camp near Calais, France, Monday Feb. 29, 2016. French authorities have begun dismantling part of the sprawling camp locally referred to as "the jungle" where thousands are hanging out, hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
A migrant uses a fire extinguisher on a group of burning tents in a makeshift camp near Calais, France, Monday Feb. 29, 2016. Under the eye of hundreds of riot police, workers began pulling down tents and makeshift shelters in the sprawling camp in Calais on Monday, dismantling the fragile structures that have served as temporary homes for migrants hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Migrants run past burning tents in a makeshift camp near Calais, France, Monday Feb. 29, 2016. Under the eye of hundreds of riot police, workers began pulling down tents and makeshift shelters in the sprawling camp in Calais on Monday, dismantling the fragile structures that have served as temporary homes for migrants hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Policemen look on as workers dismantle shelters in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic: Getty Images
A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many of the migrants wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. Pic Getty
Workers dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Migrants stand next to shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France as workers dismantle the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town. Pic Getty Images
Workers dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. Pic Getty Images
Agents dismantle a shelter on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Policemen stand next to shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France as agents dismantle the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Policemen stand as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Policemen stand as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Handout file photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @GoodChanceCal of police vans lined up around the perimeter of the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle as demolition teams have moved in to start dismantling makeshift homes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 29, 2016. A spokeswoman for the Help Refugees charity said police had blocked entrances to the sprawling camp, which is home to around 4,000 people. See PA story POLITICS Jungle. Photo credit should read: @GoodChanceCal/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Handout file photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @GoodChanceCal of police in the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle as demolition teams have moved in to start dismantling makeshift homes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 29, 2016. A spokeswoman for the Help Refugees charity said police had blocked entrances to the sprawling camp, which is home to around 4,000 people. See PA story POLITICS Jungle. Photo credit should read: @GoodChanceCal/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE Handout file photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @GoodChanceCal of police in the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle as demolition teams have moved in to start dismantling makeshift homes. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday February 29, 2016. A spokeswoman for the Help Refugees charity said police had blocked entrances to the sprawling camp, which is home to around 4,000 people. See PA story POLITICS Jungle. Photo credit should read: @GoodChanceCal/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Helmeted workers pull down makeshift structures where migrants sleep in the southern sector of the camp near the northern port of Calais, France, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. French authorities have begun dismantling the sprawling migrant camp in Calais where thousands are hanging out, hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. (AP Photo/Chris den Hond)
Helmeted workers pull down makeshift structures where migrants sleep in the southern sector of the camp near the northern port of Calais, France, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. French authorities have begun dismantling the sprawling migrant camp in Calais where thousands are hanging out, hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. (AP Photo/Chris den Hond)
Agents dismantle a shelter on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Police officers safeguard helmeted workers pulling down makeshift structures where migrants sleep in the southern sector of the camp near the northern port of Calais, France, Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. French authorities have begun dismantling the sprawling migrant camp in Calais where thousands are hanging out, hoping to make their way to a better life in Britain. (AP Photo/Chris den Hond)
Agents dismantle a shelter as anti-riot policemen stand nearby on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Agents dismantle a shelter as anti-riot policemen stand nearby on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Agents dismantle a shelter as anti-riot policemen stand in front of migrants nearby on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Anti-riot policemen stand next to a school sign and gathered people as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
An anti-riot policeman stands as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants walk past anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Migrants watch as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
An anti-riot policeman gestures as he speaks to a migrant while agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man stands on a shelter's roof next to anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man carrying belongings walks past a man sitting on a shelter's roof next to anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A migrant watches next to a policeman as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A migrant gestures next to a policeman as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Policemen walk as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Policemen walk as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man refusing to leave stands on a shelter's roof next to anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man sits on a shelter's roof as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A policeman gestures with a man as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
People sit on a shelter's roof in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man sits on a shelter's roof in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man sits on a shelter's roof in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man stands on a shelter's roof in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man sits on a shelter's roof in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
People stand on a shelter's roof in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man on a shelter's roof refusing to leave gestures in front of anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man on a shelter's roof refusing to leave speaks with anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
A man on a shelter's roof refusing to leave speak with anti-riot policemen as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
Anti-riot policemen stand in front of migrants as agents dismantle shelters on February 29, 2016 in the "jungle" migrants and refugees camp in Calais, northern France. A French court on February 25 gave the green light to plans to evacuate hundreds of migrants from the southern half of the sprawling camp in the port town, with many wanting to stay near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel, the gateway to their ultimate goal of Britain. AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE HUGUENPHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images
CALAIS, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 28: Migrants walk along a railway line near the 'jungle' camp on February 28, 2016 in Calais, France. The French authorities have begun dismantling part of the jungle encampment and relocating migrants to purpose-built accommodation nearby. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Aid agencies have largely been absent from the Calais camp, leaving volunteers to fill their place. The UNHCR has a remit to administer care in refugee camps only if a humanitarian crisis has been declared or if invited to do so by the host government.

With the clearance of the southern half of the camp, which includes the women and children’s centre and commenced on 29 February, the plight of the unaccompanied children has reached crisis point.

Concerns have been raised consistently that a lack of adequate alternative provision for the unaccompanied children – estimated to number up to 500 – has left them at grave risk of falling prey to criminal gangs. In most cases, these children have travelled from their home countries with traffickers.

A spokesperson for Save the Children acknowledged that sexual abuse has been carried out against children in Calais, adding that it was part of a Europe-wide problem and calling on the British government to ease the path of entry into the country for children with a legitimate asylum claim.

“We know that unaccompanied children, of whom there are over 400 in the camp and tens of thousands across the continent, are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. They have travelled hundreds of miles without the protection of adults or families.

“They face exploitation in all different forms, including sexual exploitation, often at the hands of criminal gangs. Save the Children has seen it in Italy, in Greece and in Calais too unfortunately.”

“Many of the children who are in Calais have family in the UK and a right to asylum here but the process is so complex that it can take years... In the meantime they are living in very dangerous situations when they could be safely with their families in the UK.”

A spokesperson for Europol said the organisation had declared the figure of 10,000 missing children across the continent to “raise awareness of the vulnerability of unaccompanied minors traveling with the migrant flow”.

“Unaccompanied minors are vulnerable due to their young age and may be especially vulnerable to different forms of exploitation,” he added.

Médecins Sans Frontières was unable to confirm having received the reports of sexual abuse against minors. The volunteers with whom The Independent spoke also raised concerns that a sex trade was operating within the camp, saying that boys as young as 13 asked them for condoms. They added that attempts to distribute rape alarms were largely futile as there “is nobody here to hear them’.

Independent

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