There were 4,501 unaccompanied children in Greece at the end of September and the numbers are rising, which give a big challenge to the country’s child protection mechanisms.
The Labor and Social Affairs Ministry tries to improve the circumstances for thousands of refugee children without a parent or guardian until asylum granted or reunited with their family in other parts of Europe.
Recently the aim is to move unaccompanied minors from unsafe island camps to the mainland of Greece. International Organization for Migration (IOM) rents hotels to accommodate vulnerable refugees and migrants. Domna Michailidou (Ministry’s deputy for social solidarity issues) said: “The spots at accommodation centers are insufficient to meet the requirements, while alternative forms of accommodation, such as temporary hotel leases, cannot be fully exploited”.
Additional funding will be requested from the European Commission and from the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund. The ministry tries as well to search for state-owned buildings for this purpose, cooperate with NGOs aiming and explore other alternatives to simply providing accommodation, such as fostering.