With the departure of 11 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children on a flight for France on Tuesday, Greece has exceeded the target of 1,000 relocations set by the migration and asylum ministry’s Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors.
The group of 10 boys from Afghanistan and one girl from Iraq left on a flight from Athens International Airport.
A ministry announcement said this was a success for Greece in the context of efforts to protect the most vulnerable of vulnerable groups, launched in March 2020 with the establishment of the special secretariat and a decision by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Chief among the countries that accepted the children were Germany, France, Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Italy and Switzerland. The effort was supported by the European Commission and the International Organization for Migration.
Roughly 80 percent of the 1,006 unaccompanied minors relocated so far are aged 15-17, 17 percent are between 11 and 14 years old, while 1 percent are up to 10 years old, 1 percent are under five and 1 percent are over 18. Up to 92 percent are boys and 8 percent are girls. The majority are from Afghanistan, followed by Syria, Pakistan, Congo and Egypt.
Another 84 minors are to be relocated to other EU member states in the coming weeks.