Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
UNICEF urges full hearings for refugee and migrant children stranded in Greece
With the process of returning refugees and migrants from the Greek islands to Turkey underway as part of the EU-Turkey agreement, UNICEF reminds States of their duty to care and protect all children and give them a full and fair hearing when deciding on their future.
UNICEF welcomes a new Greek law, which came into force on 4 April, exempting certain vulnerable groups, including unaccompanied and separated children, children with disabilities, victims of distress and trauma, pregnant women and women who recently gave birth, from “exceptional border procedures” or returns. However more needs to be done.
Currently more than 22,000 refugee and migrant children are stranded in Greece, facing an uncertain future and even forms of detention since the agreement went into effect last month.
UNICEF calls for a well-managed process to be put in place to determine each child’s best interests and fulfill the basic needs of all children – including adequate accommodation, health care and protection against trafficking and exploitation in line with international and European laws.
Children have specific grounds to claim international protection; such as if faced with the threat of recruitment to armed forces or forced marriage. The European Commission has stipulated that returns will be in accordance with international and European law.
“Any decision about any child, whether a toddler or a teenager, whether with family or not, should be guided by the best interests of that child,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe.
“Children need to be heard. A rushed decision to return can lead to a rash result and going back to a place of fear and violence. Children, no matter where they come from, must have access to basic services at all times,” she added.
Capacity to care and support for unaccompanied and separated children has been overstretched in Greece. With nowhere to house them, many are taken into temporary "protective custody", or de facto detention within closed first reception or police facilities, for increasingly extended periods.
“UNICEF is concerned about reports that some children are being detained due to their migration status. Escaping war and seeking survival is never a crime,” said Poirier.
Unaccompanied and separated children, are among the most vulnerable and make up about 10 percent of all refugee and migrant children in Greece, or some 2,000, but not all are registered. Between January and mid-March 2016, 1,156 unaccompanied and separated children had been registered in Greece (an increase of over 300 per cent in the rate of registration compared to the same period in 2015).
The first returns to Turkey from the Greek islands, were monitored this week by UNICEF’s partners, in Dikili port, Izmir province. UNICEF will continue to work closely with Turkish Government authorities to provide humanitarian assistance. Turkey currently hosts over 2.7 million Syrian refugees.
UNICEF has been helping Syrian refugee children and families since 2012. Last year UNICEF, working with government and civil society partners, provided support to over 400,000 Syrian children with education, protection and basic services.
Notes for editors:
For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or email@example.com
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk
Latest News from
Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
TUC on labour market figures: real wages fall for fourth month in a row17/08/2017 14:10:00
ONS labour market figures released yesterday (Wednesday) show that real wages have fallen for the fourth month in a row.
UNICEF responds to Sierra Leone mudslide as more than 100 children reported dead17/08/2017 12:40:00
UNICEF is on the ground urgently responding to the needs of displaced families affected by the flooding and landslides in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown which have killed several hundred people including at least 109 children, according to government sources. The death-toll is expected to rise, with over 600 people, including many children, still unaccounted for.
CBI: Strong employment growth tainted by falling real wages17/08/2017 12:25:00
The CBI has responded to the latest ONS data on the UK labour market.
LGA responds to Lancet study on care home places17/08/2017 11:40:00
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responded to a study published in the Lancet warning that an extra 71,000 care home places will be needed by 2025 in England as care needs increase
LGA - New resource to help councils on a tight budget invest in culture17/08/2017 10:40:00
Arts Council England and the Local Government Association have developed their first ever online resource to help councils develop innovative ways to invest in culture, even where financial resources are under pressure.