Missing Unaccompanied Minors

10 March 2016


Athens, 10 March 2016


Missing Unaccompanied Minors




On 11 September 2015, the siblings 12-year-old Ahmed, 8-year-old Sajjad, and  12-year-old Aaya, went missing in the Turkish territorial waters in their effort to cross with their mother by boat the Aegean Sea from Turkey. The boat capsized and the Greek Coast Guard saved most of the people in the boat with the exception of the five people, amongst which are the siblings.


Ahmed is 153 cm tall, has average weight and black hair and eyes.


Sajjad is slim, has black hair and black eyes.


Aaya is 150 cm, is slim and has black hair and black eyes.


Over the past two years in Greece and the neighboring countries there has been an increase of refugees and migrants arriving by sea in their effort, in most of the cases, to move forward to other Member States of the European Union. Since January 2015 Greece is witnessing an unprecedented increase in the influx of refugees and migrants to its territory, mainly from conflict-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. According to official estimations almost 950.000 refugees and migrants crossed the Greek-Turkish sea borders in 2015 alone, while more than 66.000 arrived in January 2016. Tragically 4.000 people have perished in the Mediterranean in 2015, while 57% of the refugees and migrants are children.


Under these conditions it goes without saying that a major risk exists for children going missing or falling victim to smugglers and traffickers. We think especially of refugee and migrant children, unaccompanied minors and children on the move and without parental care.


In most of these cases international cooperation and coordination with authorities and other non-governmental organizations is required. “The Smile of the Child” has taken the initiative through the European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000 to launch an international mobilization effort among all competent actors with the aim to locate the missing unaccompanied refugee minors.


At the same time, the services of “The Smile of the Child” have been deployed to the fullest, in order to support children and their families and it cooperates with all the competent actors, public agencies, non-profit and non-governmental Organizations on a case by case basis.


Anyone who has any information should contact “The Smile of the Child” Organization, on a 24 hours basis, and the European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000 or at the telephone number +30 210 76 09 550 from abroad.  


Please be so kind to publish this press release. In the possible event of locating the child we would inform you with a new press release requesting the removal of the missing posters and related information.


For more information contact:


National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000

E-mail: 116000@hamogelo.gt


“The Smile of the Child” in the field of Missing Minors


“The Smile of the Child” in the framework of the international partnerships that has developed, has the know-how to handle with professionalism and expertise cases of missing minors. On the international level, “The Smile of the Child” is: 


● Member of the Board of Directors of the Washington-based International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC)

● Member of Missing Children Europe Federation (MCE)

● Member of Child Helpline International (CHI)

● Associated member of the United Nations Department of Public Information (UN DPI).

● Recognized member with special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC).

● Member of Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) – www.missingkids.com

● Member of the European Federation for Street Children (EFSC)

● Member of Eurochild network for children’s rights.


In the effort of our Organization to take action and stand by those children who have gone missing and are at risk, we create, print and post missing posters across our country, always in cooperation with the Greek authorities. We are also cooperating with media and other actors that could be of help to locating missing minors.