NEW YORK (September 11, 2020) – The safe transfer of 406 unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children from Lesvos Island to the Greek mainland, following this week’s fire at the Moria Reception and Identification Centre, is a welcome and long-sought move.
Far too many other children and families will face yet another night in the open. They urgently require shelter, protection, and access to basic services.
The Moria fire has also made clear that they require durable solutions. All children need to be transferred off Lesvos onto the mainland, where they can be properly housed and supported. Early indications from European countries that they will relocate vulnerable unaccompanied minors are extremely important, and we appeal to more countries to take action.
Greece cannot continue to carry the effort alone. UNICEF will continue to support our Greek partners and the work by Member States to protect and promote the rights and well-being of refugee and migrant children. The upcoming EU Pact on Migration and Asylum will be a crucial opportunity to take forward a common and shared approach to protecting children in migration in Europe.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.