More than 1,200 unaccompanied child migrants are on waiting lists for a spot at one of the country’s special hostels for vulnerable children, aid workers told a seminar organized by Doctors of the World in Athens Friday.
Out of around 62,000 migrants and refugees currently in Greece, around 2,500 are unaccompanied minors, according to Alkis Souliotis who has worked with the nongovernmental organization Praksis and is now helping the Migration Ministry in its response to the refugee crisis. Most of the children are in hostels but hundreds are living in substandard conditions in reception centers.
“The lack of special facilities for unaccompanied children is a major shortfall in the state mechanism,” Souliotis said.
The government is said to be considering the use of former orphanages to host unaccompanied children and creating “safe zones” for minors inside existing reception centers.