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Migration: Greece announces measures for unaccompanied minors

Greece has announced a series of measures for unaccompanied minors currently in the islands hot spots in the Aegean Sea. Main target is to improve the living conditions of unaccompanied minors in Greece, Deputy Labor and Social Affairs Minister, Domna Michailidou, said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

She stressed that “the places available in the accommodation facilities are not sufficient to meet the needs of these children, while alternative forms of accommodation, such as temporary accommodation in hotels, cannot be fully implemented at this time due to the careless planning of the previous government.”

Among the measures the government plans to proceed with are:

– Investigating, through the National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA), the possibility of moving as many unaccompanied minors as possible from the islands to the mainland. In particular, it will make every effort to accommodate the most vulnerable children on the islands.

– Sending an urgent request to the European Commission, within the week, to continue emergency funding for hotels to house unaccompanied minors, under the responsibility of the International Organisation for Migration, until June 2020.

– Seeking, in cooperation with the Ministry of Citizen Protection, to accelerate the use of funding from the European Union’s Asylum and Migration Fund, with the aim of providing more long-term accommodation in appropriate structures.

– Exploring the possibility of utilising state-owned real estate for the purpose of creating new facilities, in collaboration with interested non-governmental organisations with knowledge and experience in child protection issues.

– Accelerating the implementation of existing planning to promote alternative forms of child protection, such as foster care.

According to the latest figures released by the National Center for Social Solidarity on September 15, 2019 – the number of unaccompanied minors has reached 4, 501 children, the minister said.

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