A total of 82 asylum seekers, including 11 unaccompanied children, have left Greece for Finland this week under the European Union’s relocation program, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the main partner in the process.
IOM said that 42 people, most of them Syrians, were relocated to Finland on Monday. A second group, made up of 38 Syrians, one Iraqi and one Eritrean, were traveling from Athens to Helsinki on Friday.
Since the launch of the resettlement program, 419 people have been relocated from Greece to Finland, including 281 Syrians, 95 Iraqis, nine Yemenis, nine Eritreans and 25 stateless persons, according to data provided by IOM. Among them were 180 children with family members and 38 unaccompanied children.
Only four unaccompanied children have been relocated to other EU countries, according to the same data.
“Finland has accepted the largest number of unaccompanied children under the relocation scheme – 90 percent of them – and continues to do so," said Chrysanthi Argyrou, IOM’s Pre-Departure Coordinator in Athens. "It also provides good ongoing support and assistance after they arrive,” she said.
A total of 3,493 asylum seekers have been relocated from Greece to other EU member states since the program was launched in November. Another 656 people are scheduled to travel in September.