Finland will host underage refugees from Greece

Finland will host underage refugees from Greece, the Finnish Interior Ministry is currently determining the exact number, said the head of the ministry, Maria Ohisalo in an interview with the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

Finland will host underage refugees from Greece
There are about 5 thousand minor refugees in Greece, who arrived in the country without parents. Greece has requested EU assistance in their resettlement. It is known that 400 minors from Greece have agreed to accept France. Finland also received a request from Greece, confirmed the head of the Interior Ministry. The issue was discussed at the meeting of the EU Interior Ministers.

“I heard that there are children in a very difficult situation. They lack basic hygiene. The camps are overcrowded, and they even sleep in shifts due to lack of space. Interior Ministry officials have already defined the conditions for receiving children. I hope that the government can make a decision on this as soon as possible”, –  the Minister said.

Ohisalo is not ready to estimate how many underage children will arrive in Finland.

The number of migrants arriving in Greece via Turkey has increased significantly by the end of 2019. The majority of refugees have arrived on the island of Lesbos in Greece, which is close to the Turkish border, and the refugee reception camps on the island are overcrowded. In autumn Greece sent a request to Finland to receive juvenile asylum seekers from the overcrowded Greek islands.

The head of the Interior Ministry believes that  “as a rich country, Finland should help Greece”.

“Finland is also the external border of the EU. I think that if we can support another country on the EU’s external border, it is also in Finland’s interest”, –  Ohisalo explained.

In 2018, 19.7 thousand children and teenagers without adults were registered for asylum, every tenth refugee in the EU. Unaccompanied minor refugees have a special status in the EU, a priority right to family reunification, which most often arrives immediately in the country where the minor is located immediately after being legalized in the EU.

In 2018, more than half of all arriving minors (52%) came from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Pakistan, Syria, Guinea and Iraq.


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