ATHENS — Eleven unaccompanied refugee and migrant children are expected to leave Greece on Tuesday on a flight from Athens International Airport "El. Venizelos" to France, bringing the total number of unaccompanied minors relocated to EU member-states to more than 1,000.
Specifically, from April 15, 2020 to September 23, 2021, 995 unaccompanied minors were transferred, following actions by the General Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, to Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy and Croatia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Finland. With Tuesday's relocation, the total number of unaccompanied relocated to the EU rises to 1,006.
According to a statement issued by the Deputy Minister for Migration, Sofia Voultepsi, and the Special Secretary for Unaccompanied Minors, Irini Agapidaki, "achieving this goal in the Unaccompanied Minors Transfer Programme is a proof of our country's ability to implement such projects, with security, respect for human rights, commitment to the protection of the younger generation and an integrative orientation."
In addition, "it demonstrates in the clearest way the joint commitment and effectiveness of the member states, the European Commission and the international partners in the protection of unaccompanied minors, reflecting the bonds of solidarity and understanding which are at the same time fundamental EU values."