Number of unaccompanied refugee children topped 5,300 in 2019, report notes

 

The number of minor refugees who entered Greece alone, without a parent or guardian, increased by 42% in 2019, the Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors said in a report released on Monday.The secretariat of the Migration Ministry said 2019 ended with 5,301 unaccompanied minors registered in Greece, up from around 2,600 the previous year, according to figures from the European Union. However, the highest number was recorded in February this year, rising to 5,424 children and falling to 4,417 in August this year.

The report also notes that accommodation data shows a 23% drop between November 2019 and August in the number of refugee children accommodated in Greece, as well as a 30% increase among those receiving long-term accommodation.In November 2019, the secretariat noted, the number of children staying in migrant camps rose to 1,746, rising to 1,790 during the first half of February and more than half in August to 830. Those admitted to long-term accommodation facilities such as shelters meanwhile, rose to 1,550 in August, up from 1,161 in November last year.

The secretariat, which was established in March, says one of its top priorities is to relocate just under 200 minors who are still in pre-trial detention and provide them with more appropriate accommodation. He also pledged to locate around 1,000 children who have disappeared from the system to determine whether they have left Greece or are homeless.

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