Dozens of migrant children who sought protection after fleeing war-torn countries have vanished in Ireland since 2017. A 2023 report published by University College Dublin’s (UCD) Sexual Exploitation Research Programme (SERP) indicates some of the children were victims of organized sexual exploitation. Of the 62 who are missing, 44 have reached their 18th birthday and, because they are no longer minors, child welfare has ceased searching for them. MECPATHS (Mercy Efforts for Child Protection Against Trafficking with the Hospitality and Services Sectors), a nonprofit group raising awareness of child trafficking and exploitation in Ireland, said the report confirmed what frontline workers have been telling the organization for years. “Sexual exploitation, forced labor, forced begging, criminal exploitation, forced marriage, the removal of organs, and domestic servitude—it is all happening in Ireland,” said Ann Mara, the organization’s education manager. “So, the fact that these children are missing, and there is a kind of a shrug of the shoulders, is just mind-boggling.”