Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) sailors disembark a would-be immigrant child from an AFM offshore patrol vessel at the AFM Maritime Squadron base at Haywharf in Valletta's Marsamxett Harbour October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi
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Over 9,000 child refugees and immigrants have arrived in Italy by boat so far this year, with over a third traveling alone and at risk, Save the Children said Thursday.The majority of the accompanied minors – many of whom were under 5 years old – were Syrian, and most were landing in Italy after long and dangerous journeys through Libya, where they are exposed to "persecution, theft, threats and violence".At the start of June, the organization said around a third of minors registered on arrival in Italy were then dropping off the radar, and Italian charities have warned that they may be at risk of falling into the clutches of organized crime groups or organ traffickers.
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