Unaccompanied minors often face prolonged stays in detention centres due to the lack of adults both willing and able to escort them between locations. In response, METAdrasi has established a network of trained child escorts throughout Greece. A “flexible group of escorts” consist of social workers and interpreters, who are selected according to the language spoken by the minor in need of support.
Apart from safe transfer by averting any smuggler attempts to approach the children, the latter are also thoroughly informed as to the dangers they might encounter should they leave the reception center (e.g. physical abuse, rape, organ trafficking) and where to seek help in case anything happens. They are also informed as to their rights and the benefits of the accommodation facilities to which we escort them (e.g. courses of Greek language, athletic activities).
As the demand for escort services rises, METAdrasi has responded by expanding its escort programme. METAdrasi provides escort services in compliance with the Dublin III Convention, often escorting children from the one accommodation centre to the other, or to the Asylum Service in Attiki.
In 2017, METAdrasi expanded its escort services and instituted escorting missions for vulnerable adults.
Our Missions for Escorting in Numbers
From May 2011 to the end of September 2020, in cooperation with the National Centre for Social Solidarity, the Police Directorates and the Public Prosecutor’s Offices, METAdrasi has realized over 5,700 missions for the safe transfer of 16,160 unaccompanied minors and vulnerable cases that were either held in detention centers or they were homeless, to accommodation centers around Greece.
Problems with Sponsorship
Due to the costly nature of transportation, food, and other supplies, funding problems may delay or inhibit escorting missions. In the winter of 2015, lack of funding resulted in METAdrasi appealing to the public for financial support. Since 2016, however, METAdrasi’s escorting missions are supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).