METAdrasi participated in the High Level Policy Forum on Migration and Integration organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), that took place in Paris on January 16, 2020, presenting the innovative activity “Escorting Missions for Unaccompanied Children”.
We are proud that among all the activities that had been submitted by the 36 OECD state-members, METAdrasi’s activity stood out and was chosen to be presented at the forum, together with other activities by state entities and civil society organisations from 16 countries in total.
The forum was attended by ministers responsible for migration and integration issues, high-ranked representatives from the European Union and selected OECD countries, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), executives from institutes and think tanks, as well as civil society organisations. Greece was represented institutionally by Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum Mr. Giorgos Koumoutsakos, while the Mayor of Athens Mr. Kostas Bakoyannis also participated in the forum.
“Escorting Missions for Unaccompanied Children” is one of the first activities that METAdrasi envisioned and implemented, following the determination of the grave dangers brought by the long-term stay of minors in detention facilities and/or in inappropriate conditions, as well as the State’s inability to respond with a viable solution. As a consequence, in March 2011 METAdrasi created a network of trained escorts which is constituted ad hoc and is active throughout Greece, according to the needs. The team of escorts consists of a social worker and an interpreter, selected according to the language spoken by the minors. From 2011 to date we have realised over 4,815 missions in which we escorted more than 13,230 unaccompanied children that were in detention centers or homeless, to accommodation facilities around Greece.
“We are honoured that one of METAdrasi’s initial activities was recognized on a European and international level for its innovation and importance” stated the activity’s manager Vasso Papatheodorou. This activity has greatly contributed to the immediate removal of thousands of children from inappropriate living conditions and at the same time, has resolved a long-term problem that state entities, such as the police and the prosecutors, faced.
“We share this recognition with our volunteers, our tireless team of escorts and of course our supporters, Aegean Airlines and Blue Star Ferries of Attica Group, that provide free tickets for the children’s transportation” stated METAdrasi’s President Lora Pappa.