The European Union is considering taking in up to 1,500 migrant children who are currently housed in Greek camps, Germany said Monday, according to AFP. “A humanitarian solution is being negotiated at the European level for a ‘coalition of the willing’ to take in these children,” said the government in a statement adding that Berlin was ready to take in an appropriate share. “We want to support Greece in the difficult humanitarian situation of about 1,000 to 1,500 children on the Greek islands,” explained the government after more than seven hours of talks between leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s right-left coalition.
“The news of the death of a child among about 50 people on a boat that capsized off the Greek island of Lesvos yesterday is a tragic testimony to the dangerous journeys undertaken by young refugees and migrants seeking security in Europe”. Said UNICEF in a press release last week, stressing that at sea, in border areas or in areas affected by conflicts from which children are fleeing, children are the first victims. In the past few weeks, escalating violence in Idlib province has resulted in the displacement of 575,000 children. Of the several thousand people now concentrated near Edirne and along the Turkish-Greek border, 40% are families with children. “States must do everything possible to prevent further suffering for the most innocent”. UNICEF said.
Concern over the plight of the minors have grown as they either require urgent medical treatment or are unaccompanied by adults. Calls have grown in the last days for other European nations to take them in, as Greece came under intense pressure after Turkey opened its borders, stopping preventing migrants from leaving for EU territory as previously agreed in 2016. Over the last week, migrants have repeatedly sought to storm the Greek border, with clashes erupting as Greek police used tear gas and water cannon to push them back. Amid the crisis, Turkey’s Presidentis due in Brussels Monday for talks with the EU counterparts. The UN Fund for Children reaffirmed that all States benefit if they work together to protect children and families. Already vulnerable, migrant and refugee children are in urgent need of protection. No child should ever risk his life or future in the hope of being safe.
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