Il nostro sito usa i cookies.
Il sito contiene anche cookies di terze parti.
Per avere maggiori informazioni o limitarne l'uso clicca qui

News ed eventi
Greece/EU: Urgently Relocate Lone Children

(Athens, March 4, 2020) – European Union (EU) Member States should urgently relocate unaccompanied children from the Greek islands to safety in their territory, while ensuring that the children’s best interests are taken into account, 65 human rights, humanitarian and civil society organizations said in a statement today. The groups warned of widespread violations of children’s rights and threats to their health and safety across the Aegean islands’ refugee hotspots. Action is all the more urgent in light of the escalating violence on Lesbos and as increased arrivals to the islands could lead to further deterioration of the dangerous conditions in the camps.


“The EU Hotspots on the Aegean islands are entirely unsuitable and in some cases life-threatening places for unaccompanied children,” said Stephanie Pope, EU policy and advocacy manager at Refugee Rights Europe. “Each EU state only needs to accept a small number of unaccompanied children to end the intolerable situation these children are in. We believe the EU can do better.”


Over 1,800 unaccompanied children are struggling to survive on the Greek islands, the groups said. Children are deprived of  their fundamental rights, such as access to shelter, water, food, medical, and psychosocial – mental health – care, as well as education. They are exposed to inhuman and degrading living conditions. Many children cannot secure a place in specialized accommodations for unaccompanied children because of lack of space, and are forced to face unsanitary and dangerous conditions, with many sleeping outdoors.


“Unaccompanied migrant children are some of the most vulnerable people in the world,” said Eva Cossé, Greece researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Yet lone children on the Greek islands are being deprived of the most basic necessities of life and living in inhuman conditions.”


“Unaccompanied children stuck on the Greek islands must be urgently assisted. Exposed to multiple dangers, many are forced to sleep out in the open, without essential support to alleviate their suffering or uphold their rights. All the children must be protected. Those with family in other parts of Europe must be reunited with them. This can happen through existing reunification channels or new bilateral agreements between Member States and Greece,” added Dimitra Kalogeropoulou, Head of Office, IRC Greece.


Psychologists working with unaccompanied children on Lesbos have told the media that an increasing number of children are harming themselves and attempting suicide. Unaccompanied children interviewed by one of the groups reported anxiety, depression, recurrent headaches, and insomnia.


“In the absence of adequate protection measures, the unaccompanied children living on the Greek islands remain exposed to various forms of exploitation,” said Elina Sarantou, program coordinator, HIAS Greece. “Each additional day, each additional hour that these children remain in these conditions, means they are suffering additional exploitation and abuse.”


There are hardly any guardians for these children, as required under Greek law, further exacerbating the situation. A guardianship program spearheaded by the non-governmental organization METAdrasi ended in 2019 because funding ran out.


“Hundreds of children are stuck in a dangerous limbo,” said Lefteris Papagiannakis, head of advocacy, policy and research at Solidarity Now. “A child under 15 needs consent from a guardian to access legal support. But many children have no guardian, and no way to get the help they need. Many are trapped in terrifying conditions, unable to apply to reunite with family in other countries.”


Delays in the registration process, and the lack of representation and legal support for unaccompanied children in the hotspots, undermine their ability to reunite with family members in other EU countries. A three-month deadline for the submission of a family reunification request is often unmet because unaccompanied children are not identified during that period.


“Conditions on the Greek islands are overcrowded and inhumane,” said Giulia Cicoli, project coordinator at Still I Rise. “The camps have capacity for just over 6,000. Yet over 38,600 people are crowded into and around them. They are no place for a child.” 


EU countries should share responsibility and relocate unaccompanied children out of Greece while ensuring that their best interests are taken into account, and faciliate family reunification. Relocating unaccompanied children would contribute to securing durable solutions for them.


“There are empty spaces for unaccompanied children in other EU countries, with families waiting to be reunited with many of these children,” said Lora Pappa, founder and president of METAdrasi. “Many of these children might one day be European citizens, so we should inspire them from the outset with our core European values.”


EU countries should  take into account the humanitarian emergency on the Greek islands when it comes to deadlines for submitting family reunification requests, the groups said. For children who missed the deadline, they should make use of the “discretionary clause” of the Dublin III Regulation, that determines which EU Member State is responsible for the examination of an application for asylum.


“It is a disgrace to humanity and a stain on the conscience of Europe that vulnerable children are left sleeping rough in a living hell,” said Josie Naughton, CEO of Help Refugees. “This is absolutely within our power to change. We must find it in our hearts to act now.”


To read the full statement, click here


 


For more information, please contact: 


In Berlin, for Refugee Rights Europe, Stephanie Pope (English, German): +49 176 3255 9260; or stephanie.pope@refugeerights.org.uk. Twitter: @Refugee_RE


In Athens, for Human Rights Watch, Eva Cossé (Greek, French, English): +30-693-47-90-865; or +1-718-406-3160 (mobile); or cossee@hrw.org. Twitter: @Eva_Cosse


In Athens, for the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), Danae Leivada (Greek, English, French):  +30 210 3800990 [ext.102]; or d.leivada@gcr.gr.


In Athens, for Solidarity Now, Lefteris Papagiannakis (Greek, French, English): +30 6974 399 999 (mobile); or lpapagiannakis@solidaritynow.org.


In Athens, for International Rescue Committee (IRC), Dimitra Kalogeropoulou, (Greek, English). For interviews with Dimitra or IRC spokespeople on Lesvos island, contact Nancy Dent, M: +44 (0)7946139182; or E: nancy.dent@rescue-uk.org.


Organizations Signing the Statement:


100Million


ADP Amici dei Popoli


Better Days


Boat Refugee Foundation


Caritas Europa


Child Circle


Concord Italia


COP Piemonte


COSPE Onlus


CVCS


Danish Refugee Council (DRC)


Defence for Children International Greece


Defence for Children International Italia


Defence for Children International


Defence for Children the Netherlands


Défense des Enfants International – Belgique | Defence for Children International – Belgium


Destination Unknown


Diaconia ECCB – Center of Relief and Development


Dynamo International – Street Workers Network


Eurochild


FENIX Humanitarian Legal Aid


FOCSIV (partner of the project Faces of Migration)


Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) Europe


Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)


Help Refugees


HIAS Greece


Human Rights Watch


Immigrant Council of Ireland


International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Europe


International Rescue Committee


Khora Legal


Kopin


Legal Centre Lesvos


Lesvos Solidarity


Lighthouse Relief (LHR)


MAIS


Médecins Sans Frontières


METAdrasi


Missing Children Europe


Mobile Info Team


Moviment Graffitti


Network for Children's Rights (Greece)


Office of the Dean, Faculty for Education University of Malta


One Happy Family


Organising Bureau of European School Student Unions (OBESSU)


Organization Mondiale pour l'Éducation Préscolaire/ World Organization for Early Childhood Education


Oxfam


PAX


RE.TE Ong - Associazione di tecnici per la solidarietà e la cooperazione internazionale


Refugee Legal Support (UK)


Refugee Rescue


Refugee Rights Europe


Safe Passage International


Save the Children


SB OverSeas


Solidarity Now


Spark 15


Stichting Vluchteling


Still I Rise


Studenti Ħarsien Soċjali


Tampep Onlus


Terre des Hommes Greece


Terre des Hommes International Federation


Velos Youth


WeWorld Onlus


 


Background Information


The situation on the islands has grown more acute due to a spike in arrivals since July 2019, leading to extreme overcrowding in the hotspots. The situation is compounded by the Greek authorities’ containment policy to carry out the  EU-Turkey Statement, intended to return unsuccessful asylum seekers to Turkey. This has led to perpetual overcrowding on the islands.


On November 24, Greece’s prime minister announced a plan, No Child Alone, to protect unaccompanied children, including by creating more shelters. In keeping with the plan’s spirit, Greek authorities should urgently ensure that children have access to safe, humane accommodation where they can receive care, education, counseling, legal aid, guardianship, and other essential services, the groups said.


In October, Greece’s citizen protection minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis, sent a letter to all other European Union governments asking them to share responsibility by voluntarily relocating a total of  2,500 unaccompanied children from Greece. On November 6, he told the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties that only one country had responded.

04-03-2020
test
test
Cena annuale di MAIS
sabato 1° febbaio 2020 presso il Dar Al Hikma di Torino
10° Rapporto CRC
30 anni dopo la convenzione ONU sui diritti dell'infanzia
CONCORSO ARTISTICO #25NOVEMBRESCEGLITU
Inviaci il tuo testo e vinci una Gift Card Feltrinelli!
Servizio Civile 2019
3 posti disponibili sui progetti educativi di Amici di MAIS
Lotteria di Pasqua 2019
Ecco i numeri vincitori!
“I diritti dell’infanzia e dell’adolescenza in Italia: i dati regione per regione”
Quasi un bambino su tre a rischio povertŕ ed esclusione
Impatto del Decreto Legge 113/2018 sui minori migranti
La lettera sottoscritta da 32 associazioni del Gruppo CRC
LOTTERIA 2018
Tanti premi solidali dalle aree di progetto di MAIS
Comunicato Stampa AOI
GOVERNO E PARLAMENTO ADERITE AL GLOBAL COMPACT