NEWS

Concern for refugee minors

Greece is treating unaccompanied refugee children like common criminals and holding them in extremely poor conditions, according to the Children’s Ombudsman Giorgos Moschos who yesterday called for authorities around Europe to improve their stance. «Greece is still lacking in its care for unaccompanied minors,» Moschos said during a conference of European ombudsmen in Athens. «They cannot be treated like common offenders. That is why we are proposing to European governments that they adopt a specific approach for minors so they can receive care.» Moschos said that the authorities have kept 42 refugee children locked up in Athens over the last few months. Some 20,000 refugee children apply for asylum in Europe each year. Greece receives up to 300 of these applications from unaccompanied minors. But some 1,000 are detained and expelled annually in Greece, according to the ombudsman. The children are mostly aged 12-18 and many end up working illegally.