More than 500 underage asylum seekers went missing in Switzerland in 2016, a huge rise on the previous year's tally of 94, according to official statistics reported by RTS.

In total, around 5,000 unaccompanied migrants aged under 18 at the time of arrival currently live in Switzerland, said the broadcaster, quoting the Swiss migration office (SEM).

However after saying they want to claim asylum, many then flee the official reception centres and disappear from the authorities' radar.

In total 539 young migrants went missing in 2016 – a figure that includes 81 who were aged over 18 but who are counted as minors because they claimed asylum when they were under 18.

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