08:20 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Migrants wait for the start of the rights education lessons for refugees and asylum seekers in a hall of the Bayernkaserne in Munich, southern Germany on February 24, 2016

    Number of Refugee Children Missing in Germany Doubled Since January

    © AFP 2019 / Christof Stache
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    As of July, 1, 8,991 asylum seekers aged under 18 missed in Germany, according to the data published in local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The number of underage refugees missing in Germany has increased almost twofold since the beginning of the year, local media reported Monday citing data from the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA).

    As of July 1, there were 8,991 asylum seekers aged under 18 missing in the country, the data requested and obtained by the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper revealed. At the beginning of the year, this figure stood at 4,749, the media outlet added.

    A BKA spokeswoman told the newspaper that there is no evidence to suggest these disappearances have anything to do with crime, as "in many cases, children go missing when trying to visit parents, relatives or friends in other German cities or even in other European countries."

    Europe is struggling to find a solution to the massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa and trying to reach stable and wealthy European countries such as Germany.

    The EU border agency Frontex detected over 1.83 million illegal border crossings in 2015, in contrast to some 283,000 in 2014.

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