NEWS

Abuse probe orphanage withheld data on children

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An Athens orphanage at the center of a probe into the alleged abuse of five boys between the ages of 7 and 11 had refused to declare the number of children in its care, Deputy Minister for Social Affairs Domna Michailidou told Kathimerini on Tuesday. 

“When we launched the [online] platform for fostering and adoption, we asked all [child care] facilities in the country to register the children they hosted, in order for them to join the system,” the minister said. “The specific facility refused to do so until the last moment. I had to call them on the phone and press them. They were the last in Greece to follow the instructions.” 

Michailidou also said that there is also a pending complaint against the orphanage from 2017 alleging illegal adoptions, which “has not yet been fully investigated.”

The facility was placed under investigation after a written complaint from a former employer and two members of the governing board claiming that the boys were being forced by female staff members to perform sexual and violent acts on each other.

Michailidou also expressed her vexation with the management’s delay in suspending the three accused employees from their posts. 

The five boys have been transferred to the children’s Paidon Hospital in Athens where they are being evaluated by experts.