Greece to relocate some 100 unaccompanied refugee children to Serbia

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Greece’s newly appointed Alternate Minister for Immigration Policy, George Koumoutsakos and Deputy Labour and Social Affairs Minister Domna Michailidou met with Serbia’s Ambassador to Greece, Dusan Spasojevic in Athens on Wednesday to discuss the relocation of unaccompanied refugee children currently residing in Greece.

According to Greek news agency ANA, both the Greek and Serbian sides agreed on the relocation of some 100 unaccompanied children to Serbia with the selection process to be managed by the National Centre of Social Solidarity, while the implementaton of the move will involve the UN High Commission for Refugees and the International Migration Organisation.

"The participation of Serbia - a country that does not belong to the EU yet - in the relocation program for unaccompanied children is the start of activation of European countries for similar commitments," Koumoutsakos said, adding that Serbia "is a traditional ally of Greece and its contribution has multiplier benefits for our country."

Serbia’s Ambassador Dusan Spasojevic clarified that the agreement was
settled on December 11 during the Greece-Serbia High-Level Cooperation Council, and particularly between Serbian President Aleksandar Bucic and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

"As a reliable partner, Serbia stands next to Greece ready to share the burden of the migration crisis and to help its strategic partner by caring for some migrant children," Spasojevic said.

"As two countries sharing the European values of humanitarian action and solidarity, I am convinced that working together we can provide these children with a chance for a normal life."