Apr 19th 2020 | News

47 unaccompanied child refugees from the overcrowded camps of the Greek islands have landed safely in Germany…

A group of 47 unaccompanied child refugees from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan have been evacuated from refugee camps in Greece and have safely landed in Hanover, Germany. All children were aged 14 or under and will now remain in quarantine for two weeks before moving on to other German states where volunteering families await them.

Following 12 children landing safely in Luxemburg on Wednesday 15th April 2020, and after welcoming the arrival of 47 unaccompanied minors (inclusive of 4 girls), the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said: “I am pleased that we are able to receive the first unaccompanied children today, despite the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis”, whilst the Interior Minister of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, called the refugee children’s arrival a “beginning.”

Germany has pledged to take in a further 350 to 500 unaccompanied minors from the Greek islands, where it is estimated over 42,000 refugees are currently struggling to survive. Its key focus for rescue will be unaccompanied children under the age of 14, those who are ill, and girls.

Whilst the ongoing pandemic will inevitably slow down assessment and safety protocols to allow more children to exit the camps quicker, the news that member states who pledged to help Greece with the refugee influx are honouring those pledges, is news worthy of celebration.

The key member states who will be taking in children as part of the EU initiative over the coming weeks include: Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Luxembourg and Lithuania, and Switzerland.

To date, the United Kingdom has refused to take in a single refugee as part of this EU-wide effort, as evidenced by Priti Patel’s latest statement.