Thousands of children like Fadi live in our country. Thousands of unaccompanied minors, third countries nationals enter Greece each year. These children face a twofold problem: firstly, as children are particularly vulnerable and secondly, as immigrants and refugees are at increased risk of exposure to trafficking and exploitation circuits. This problem requires an organized and targeted treatment.
METAction has, for the past three years, supported the vulnerable group of unaccompanied minors, giving them immediate and safe escort by trained teams consisting of social scientists, interpreters and security officers from detention centers and precarious conditions (homelessnes) to appropriate accommodation structures. It has already conducted 418 escorts, for 1614 children. Aiming to cover the large gap in the guardianship of minors, METAction attempts, for the first time in Greece, to establish a network of guardians, in cooperation with the Norwegian organization Vergeforeningen Følgesvennen, which has valuable experience in this area.
The groundbreaking for the Greek situation “Guardianship Network for Unaccompanied Minors” is funded as part of the Program “We are all Citizens” with the Bodossaki Foundation as the grant’s manager and is expected to last 13 months. As a first step, METAction will train and establish a team of Guardians of Unaccompanied Minors, by drafting educational material, conducting a training seminar / workshop and with other supportive activities. METAction haς made contact with organizations of the civil society in European countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway that have undertaken the Guardianship of unaccompanied minors in cooperation with the competent state authorities, in order to exchange know-how and good practices.
Role of the Guardians will be to ensure the protection of the rights of the unaccompanied minors, their access to social welfare structures and their smooth integration into Greek society. So children like Fadi will have the “luxury” of personal care in their childhood. Something that will influence the rest of their lives.
This project is funded by the Greek NGO Programme “We are all Citizens” which is part of the EEA&Norway Grants for Greece. The Bodossaki Foundation is the Fund Operator of this Programme. The Programme aims to strengthen civil society and enhance the contribution of NGOs to social justice, democracy and sustainable development.