Last year 22 children who arrived at Irish ports or airports unaccompanied by adults were taken in to care by the HSE but later vanished. This was the lowest number to go missing in 10 years. We've just passed the half way point of 2009 and already 23 foreign children are missing from HSE accommodation.
All of those missing this year are Chinese according to the HSE. You can see some of them on the missing kids website.
In a Dail debate earlier this Barry Andrews, the Minister for Children, earlier the number going missing had fallen "dramatically" but this seems to have been reversed in the first six months of the year.
Some of the children who go missing are reuniting with family members who may be in Ireland illegally. Others, however, have been tracked down and found to be in abusive situations.
Gardai are very frustrated that hours or days after they place children in to HSE care those kids "vanish" and some, at least, are back in the hands of the traffickers. Until the HSE provide these children with the protection afforded to Irish-born children then Ireland will continue to be a soft spot for those trafficking children in to Europe.