Paris, June 15 (RHC)-- Migrant and refugee children making the perilous journey to Europe to escape war and poverty face possible beatings, rape and forced labor in addition to risk of drowning in the Mediterranean.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), minors account for a growing percentage of migrants and refugees, particularly those trying to reach Italy by sea from Libya.
A newly-released report, entitled "Danger Every Step of the Way," notes that of the nearly 206,200 people who arrived in Europe by sea this year until June 4th, one in three was a child. The UN agency report warns that the boys and girls who landed in the European Union have faced prostitution, pedophilia rings and gangsterism.
In February, the European Union police agency Europol said more than 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children had gone missing during the recent influx of refugees.