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Society

Switzerland Will Take 23 Young Migrants from Greece

Switzerland will accept 23 refugees and migrants from 10-17 years old, continuing a trickle of young and unaccompanied migrant minors in Greece's detention centers and camps being taken by a few other European countries.

Greece's Ministry of Migration and Asylum said the new group includes 18 boys and five girls who came from Afghanistan and Congo-Brazzaville, and had relatives in Switzerland, Turkey's pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah reported.

Germany took in 47 and Luxembourg 12 unaccompanied minors in mid-April from among the thousands included in more than 100,000 refugees and migrants in Greece, including more than 38,000 on islands in camps activists said aren't fit for humans.

Some 1,600 traveling without parents are earmarked to be sent to other European and European Union countries but only a handful have been taken, 90 percent of them boys, the report said.

Germany said it would eventually take 350-500 under the age of 11 and there have been similar pledges from Luxembourg, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, and Lithuania, unrealized for now.

There are about 5,500 unaccompanied minors in Greece's camps, about 10 percent under 14, said the EU's police agency Europol.

Greece urged other countries, who had closed their borders to refugees and migrants, to at least take minors as part of a plan to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus which curiously didn't hit the island camps and centers.

Greek migrant camps will remain under lockdown until May 21. Those on five islands are within easy reach of Turkey, which has let human traffickers keep operating during an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the EU over that time.

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