Eleven unaccompanied refugee and migrant children depart for France

children migrant refugee relocations to France

With the departure of 11 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children on a flight for France on Tuesday, Greece exceeded the target of 1,000 relocations set by the Migration Ministry's Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors.

The group of 10 boys from Afghanistan and one girl from Iraq left on a flight from Athens International Airport 'Eleftherios Venizelos'.

They were seen off by Deputy Migration and Asylum Minister responsible for Integration Sofia Voultepsi and the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors Irene Agapidaki.

A ministry announcement said this was a success in Greece's efforts to protect the most vulnerable groups, an initiative launched in March 2020 with the establishment of the special secretariat.

Chief among the countries that accepted the refugee and migrant children were Germany, France, Finland, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Italy and Switzerland.

The effort was supported by the European Commission and the International Organisation for Migration.

Roughly 80% of the 1,006 unaccompanied refugee and migrant minors relocated so far are aged 15-17, 17% are between 11 and 14 years old, while 1% are up to 10 years old, 1% are under five and 1% are over 18.

Up to 92% are boys and 8% are girls.

The majority are from Afghanistan, followed by Syria, Pakistan, Congo and Egypt.

Another 84 minors are to be relocated to other EU member-states in the coming weeks.

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