EU states to take in 1,600 migrant children in Greece

BRUSSELS (AP) – A group of European Union (EU) countries has agreed to take in at least 1,600 migrant children in Greece travelling without their parents, with the first unaccompanied minors likely to find homes in Luxembourg as soon as next week, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Friday.

There are currently over 42,000 migrants living in overcrowded camps in the Greek islands, including about 5,500 unaccompanied minors. According to the police agency Europol around 10 per cent of them are younger than 14.

Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal have offered to take them in, and Johansson said that at least two other countries expressed an interest in getting involved during a meeting on Friday of EU interior ministers. She did not name them.

Earlier this week, Johansson said that migrant children travelling alone “face violence, abuse and exploitation. Many of them just disappear from the asylum and reception centres and we don’t know where they are. I am afraid that many of them fall into the hands of criminals.”

Migrants take shelter against the sun with an umbrella as they walk near the Turkish-Greek border in Uzunkopru, Edirne region, Turkey. PHOTO: AP