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Call for the immediate assumption of Guardianship for Unaccompanied Minors by the Ministry of Labour

Athens, September 11th

Before 2014, Guardianship for Unaccompanied Minors in Greece was, in effect, non-existent. METAdrasi tried to cover this gap, by creating in 2015 and for the first time in Greece, the Guardianship Network for Unaccompanied Minors, in co-operation with the local Public Prosecutors. Starting on a pilot basis, with the support of EEA Grants – through the Bodossaki Foundation – and until today of the UNHCR and other international organisations, METAdrasi created a network of Guardians that reached 69 members throughout Greece. Within three and a half years, METAdrasi’s authorised Guardians have undertaken the support of 4,385 children.

With the passing of the law N. 4554/2018 on the 10th of July 2018, Guardianship in Greece is now taken over by the National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA) of the Ministry of Labour, expected to start the implementation in September, according to the Minister’s public commitment.

Given the above developments, European institutions and international Organisations that supported the innovative for the Greek standards activity, are now moving towards the discontinuation of funding to METAdrasi. Consequently, the reduction of the number of the members of the coordinating team and the authorised Guardians is inevitable.

Having as main aim the establishing in Greece of the institution of Guardianship for Unaccompanied Minors in an effective and essential way, METAdrasi makes every possible effort so that the assumption of the institution of Guardianship by the Ministry of Labour takes place the soonest possible, obliterating any possibility for the hundreds of unaccompanied minors to find themselves without Guardian.

We believe that the utilisation of METAdrasi’s team by EKKA is possible, and we make every effort for the absorption of the Guardianship Network Members by the new entity, given that the relevant European resources have already been provided through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to the Ministry of Economy and Development.

In this way, the revocation of dozens of authorisations to unaccompanied minors will be avoided, while EKKA will gain a team of trained professionals who have considerable experience in defending the unaccompanied minors’ rights and are committed to finding the best solution for every child, in spite of the adverse conditions they are facing on a daily basis.

The role of the Civil Society Organisations is not to replace the state, but to cover essential gaps and to pave the way with innovative activities, such as that of Guardiaship.

Through the co-operation between METAdrasi and the Ministry of Labour, we believe that soon a solution will be reached for the best interest of the unaccompanied minors and for making the best use of the invaluable know-how and experience possessed by METAdrasi’s Guardianship for Unaccompanied Minors team