Share article:
Share article:

Vietnamese minors disappeared in Belgium

© Belga

In two and a half years, 44 minors of Vietnamese origin have disappeared in Belgium, the federal agency for the reception of asylum seekers, Fedasil, confirmed to Knack, Standaard and VRT NWS.

On arrival in Belgium, unaccompanied minors are received in an observation and orientation centre while verifications are conducted to determine whether they are really minors and direct them to the structures best suited to their needs.

In 2017, 12 Vietnamese minors disappeared from an observation and orientation centre, according to Fedasil. Fourteen went missing in 2018, and this year the tally is already 19.

Other than a teenager who received care as a possible victim of human trafficking, none of the minors have been found.

“The youths say they are minors, but since they disappear very quickly, there is no registration and their ages also cannot be determined,” Fedasil spokeswoman Mieke Candaele explained.

“The increasing figures are perhaps due to the fact that the police are conducting more and more actions during which they intercept migrants. Most of these youths do not request asylum. The only two who did so disappeared afterwards, all the same. Most disappear within 24 hours of their arrival in our network of shelters.”

According to the investigation by the Flemish media, Knack, De Standaard and VRT NWS, many young Vietnamese youths leave their country of origin with a tourist visa for Russia. From there, they travel illegally through Europe, generally with the aim of reaching the United Kingdom.

To be able to pay their traffickers amounts sometimes as high as 40,000 euros, they often work in beauty salons or marijuana plantations. A Europol report found that they are also preyed upon by criminal networks that exploit them as domestics, beggars or prostitutes.

In the past eight months, the National Social Security Office and Police checked 34 beauty salons, mainly in Brussels, Vilvoorde and Ostend. No fewer than 25 tickets were issued for non-declaration of employees and 15 for illegally employing foreign workers, mainly Vietnamese.


The Brussels Times

 

Latest news

More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet on Tuesday
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...