(只有英文)移民及難民兒童滯留希臘 聯合國兒童基金會促請各方全面聆聽他們的心聲

 

(只有英文)移民及難民兒童滯留希臘 聯合國兒童基金會促請各方全面聆聽他們的心聲

On 8 March 2016, a girl in a pink sweater holds her doll outside a row of makeshift tents, which have been pitched up on the train tracks leading into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In March 2016, despite the border restrictions in the Balkans, the influx of refugees and migrants to Idomeni has continued, with reports indicating that up to 14,000 people are waiting to cross the border from Greece to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia , with as many as 60 per cent women and children. In the chaos and confusion, children have been forced to sleep outside in the open in squalid conditions, lacking access to basic services, such as showers and food.  The current dire situation unfolding on the borders of Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, remains unacceptable for children who are now in the majority of those on the Idomeni border in northern Greece. With regard to the outcome of the EU Summit with Turkey on 8 March 2016, UNICEF reiterates that in the implementation of such decisions the fundamental humanitarian principle of ‘do no harm’ must guide authorities across Europe, the Balkans and Turkey at every step when it comes to the care of refugee and migrant children. In the immediate term, the current dire situation unfolding on the borders of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, remains unacceptable for children who are now in the majority of those on the Idomeni border in northern Greece. Children have already endured so much - fleeing war and conflict, and a dangerous crossing.  It is yet another blow that they are now forced to sleep in the open, with no access to basic services, unsure whether they can go forward or be forced back. Children stranded are at greater risk to smugglers and traffickers and their rights must be prioritized.  UNICEF stands ready to support the Government of Greece to find immediate solutions for refugee and migrant children.

© UNICEF/UN012777/Georgiev – Child refugees in Idomeni, Greece, March 2016

 

(只提供英文版本)

 

GENEVA/ HONG KONG, 6 April 2016 – With the process of returning refugees and migrants from the Greek islands to Turkey underway as part of the EU-Turkey agreement, UNICEF reminds States of their duty to care and protect all children and give them a full and fair hearing when deciding on their future.

UNICEF welcomes a new Greek law, which came into force on 4 April, exempting certain vulnerable groups, including unaccompanied and separated children, children with disabilities, victims of distress and trauma, pregnant women and women who recently gave birth, from “exceptional border procedures” or returns. However more needs to be done.

Currently more than 22,000 refugee and migrant children are stranded in Greece, facing an uncertain future and even forms of detention since the agreement went into effect last month.

UNICEF calls for a well-managed process to be put in place to determine each child’s best interests and fulfill the basic needs of all children – including adequate accommodation, health care and protection against trafficking and exploitation in line with international and European laws.

Children have specific grounds to claim international protection; such as if faced with the threat of recruitment to armed forces or forced marriage. The European Commission has stipulated that returns will be in accordance with international and European law.

“Any decision about any child, whether a toddler or a teenager, whether with family or not, should be guided by the best interests of that child,” said Marie-Pierre Poirier, Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe.

“Children need to be heard. A rushed decision to return can lead to a rash result and going back to a place of fear and violence. Children, no matter where they come from, must have access to basic services at all times,” she added.

Capacity to care and support for unaccompanied and separated children has been overstretched in Greece. With nowhere to house them, many are taken into temporary “protective custody", or de facto detention within closed first reception or police facilities, for increasingly extended periods.

“UNICEF is concerned about reports that some children are being detained due to their migration status. Escaping war and seeking survival is never a crime,” said Poirier.

Unaccompanied and separated children, are among the most vulnerable and make up about 10 percent of all refugee and migrant children in Greece, or some 2,000, but not all are registered. Between January and mid-March 2016, 1,156 unaccompanied and separated children had been registered in Greece (an increase of over 300 per cent in the rate of registration compared to the same period in 2015).

The first returns to Turkey from the Greek islands were monitored this week by UNICEF’s partners, in Dikili port, Izmir province. UNICEF will continue to work closely with Turkish Government authorities to provide humanitarian assistance. Turkey currently hosts over 2.7 million Syrian refugees.

UNICEF has been helping Syrian refugee children and families since 2012. Last year UNICEF, working with government and civil society partners, provided support to over 400,000 Syrian children with education, protection and basic services.