Prix Europa nominates two Lost in Europe stories

Lost in Europe is nominated for its productions in two categories: ‘Radio Current Affairs’ and ‘TV Current Affairs’ by Prix Europa. The awards will be presented on 10-15 October 2021.

In March 2019, Sanne Terlingen, member of research collective Lost in Europe, published a story that revealed that sixty Vietnamese children disappeared from the protective shelter in the Netherlands over the course of five years. This research caused a lot of controversy, and it still does. After the initial story broke, more follow-up research has been undertaken in The Netherlands, Belgium, England and Germany. The journalists involved in the Lost in Europe collective since then reported new developments with stories published in newspapers, radio and TV. Two of those follow up productions are now nominated by Prix Europa.

TV documentary ‘Handelsware Kind’

The German documentary ‘Handelsware Kind’ (English title: ‘Children As Commodities – The Human Trafficking Mafia’) shows in detail how human trafficking of Vietnamese children in Europe works. Behind the disappearance of young people are unscrupulous human traffickers, and their networks stretch across continents.

The documentary tells the story of how Vietnamese minors are exploited to ‘modern slavery’ and how they are crammed in vans or trucks ‘on the move’ from their home country to an unknown final destination. Berlin is one of the most important hubs for Vietnamese human trafficking. The path to questionable happiness costs 15 to 20 thousand dollars. In nail salons, as cigarette sellers, drug couriers or as gardeners in illegal cannabis plantations, the victims then have to work off their debts. The traffickers determine when it is paid off. Their victims are at their mercy, for years.

In this investigative road movie, journalists Adrian Bartocha and Jan Wiese follow the trail of the Vietnamese mafia across several European countries to Great Britain. Its protagonists are high-ranking investigators, witnesses, victims and perpetrators. The documentary investigates how this crime is possible in Germany, yet remains almost unnoticed.

Watch documentary here:

Radio ‘The final journey of Quyen and Hieu’

The other nomination is for the radio story ‘The Final Journey of Quyen and Hieu‘, made by Sanne Terlingen, co-founder and member of research collective Lost in Europe.

In October 2019, 39 dead bodies were found in a refrigerated truck in Essex – near London. The victims are all from Vietnam. They died from overheating and suffocation. Two of them, Tran Ngoc Hieu (17) and Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen (just 18), appear to have run away from the Protected Shelter near Maastricht twelve days earlier. A Belgian taxi picked up the boys and took them to a safehouse in Anderlecht. They were chased by an observation team of the Dutch police. The officers followed the taxi to the safe house. The boys remained there for another eleven days without anyone intervening.

In the nominated radio broadcast, Argos again paid attention to the fate of Vietnamese children after their arrival in Europe, and its broadcast is linked to revelations that were also part of the German documentary.

Sources: Lost in Europe, and translation of broadcast announcement texts by RBB and Argos