Shocking data have emerged from a recent study of unaccompanied child migrants entitled “Children as prey: Exclusion and exploitation of unaccompanied child-migrants in Greece, Italy, and Spain”.
The report states that three-quarters of unaccompanied child-migrants continue to not have access to suitable quarters and that 200 remain in custody (the highest number in recent years), while one in four live on the streets in completely unsafe conditions.
Even those who have been placed in reception centres face an unacceptable situation because the space is one-third of what is required to meet the real needs.
Meanwhile, the integration of child-migrants in the public educational system is a dream for many children, in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.
One child lived in a local municipal park for six months in the cold and rain and all sorts of people approached them in an effort to lure them with money or warm living quarters. The child agreed because it needed a home.
The study is based on interviews with professionals who work with unaccompanied child-migrants as well as policy papers, regulations and laws, along with eyewitness testimony regarding the repercussions on child-migrants of the lacks and dysfunctions of the protection system.
The study details the repercussions of social exclusion.
According to 2018 data from international humanitarian organizations, almost half of refugees globally are children. In Greece, they represented one-third of arrivals in 2019.
Greece’s National Centre for Social Solidarity estimates that there are 4,963 unaccompanied child-migrants in Greece right now.