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Greece: 5,500 unaccompanied minors. EU, “let us protect these children”. Possible pact to relocate them to other EU countries

(Brussels) The EU Commission “is working on all fronts to deliver support to Greece and the people involved” in “forced” migration from Turkey and is “in constant contact with the Greek government”. It is against this backdrop that President Ursula von der Leyen spoke to the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “on the situation of unaccompanied migrant children on the Greek islands. Together they agreed to put in place a process to ensure the protection and care of some of Europe’s most vulnerable people, unaccompanied migrant children”. The President entrusted Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson to take this process forward. Therefore Commissioner Johansson will travel to Greece next week to meet the relevant Greek Ministers and stakeholders. “The aim of the visit is to work on identifying solutions for unaccompanied migrant children”. Von der Leyen stated: “Thousands of unaccompanied children reach Europe every year. Their protection is a priority for the Commission. This is why I have asked Commissioner Johansson to travel to Greece to find solutions to ensure their protection. Commissioner Johansson and I will now work closely with the Member States to find a safe place for these children”.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: “What we need is a clear demonstration of European solidarity, which should take the form of a voluntary relocation pact, by which unaccompanied minors who are currently in Greece are relocated to other European countries. The scars of the soul are not easy to heal. Let us all do what is right to help Greece address this most sensitive issue”. There are currently over 42,000 people on the Greek islands, among these approximately 5,500 unaccompanied minors.

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