Two children who were rescued in the Mediterranean | Credit: EPA
Two children who were rescued in the Mediterranean | Credit: EPA

A new smartphone app called Miniila has been launched in Brussels. It is designed to help child migrants on the move in Europe learn about their rights and the services available to them.

Miniila, which in Arabic means "from ... to," is the name of a new smartphone app for child migrants on the move in Europe. It is designed to help them learn about their rights and about services they can access in different areas across the continent. 

The app was presented in Brussels during the conference "Lost in Migration," which was held with the financial support of the H&M Foundation and developed in cooperation with Trellyz, Translators without Borders, Médecins du Monde, and the involvement of Italy's child-protection hotline Telefono Azzurro. 

The app uses maps in various languages to help child migrants find services they can access, including legal and healthcare services. 

Secure access to information 

On the app's website, organizers said child migrants tell them one of the things that is most lacking while they are on the move is access to trustworthy information. 

"There's a large group of children on the move in Europe who don't fall under the protection system and don't have access to services, support and information to remain safe. Often, however, what they do have is a smartphone." 

The app allows children to make the right decisions and be better protected, rather than trusting those who might try to take advantage of their vulnerable status while they are on the move in Europe. 

An answer to child migrants' needs 

The new tool aims to respond to recommendations made by children's rights experts to the European Commission and to national leaders at the 2017 edition of the Lost in Migration conference. According to data from the NGO, Missing Children Europe, 5,828 child migrants disappeared in Italy alone between 2014 and 2017. 

"The app is specifically designed for the needs of unaccompanied minor migrants in transit, with particular a particular focus on facilitating access to information on services such as shelters, food banks and health services in the area in which they find themselves. The application easily connects children to the 116 000 hotline for missing children and the children's helpline 116 111. The app also provides information on children's rights in the EU and on the procedures for international protection and family reunification," the app's website said. 

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