Greece: Migrant children head to Portugal after appeal to EU

International

Officials from Greece’s Ministry of Migration Affairs and the International Organization for Migration escort 25 unaccompanied refugee children at Athens International Airport before they board a plane to Lisbon, Portugal, on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Portuguese authorities have agreed to take in several hundred children from refugee camps in Greece following an appeal for help by the Greek government to other European Union countries. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say 25 unaccompanied migrant children are traveling from Athens to Portugal, where they will be given shelter as part of a relocation program worked out among several European Union countries.

Nearly 75,000 migrants and refugees, about a third of them children, traveled from Turkey to Greece last year, most crossing to Greek islands, adding strain on the country’s reception system.

Most children arrived with adult family members, but some 3,800 were unaccompanied, according to the Greek government.

Greece has repeatedly appealed to other EU member nations to help ease the burden on the country’s strained migrant reception system by agreeing to take in relocated minors, Germany, Luxembourg, and Finland are among the countries that have agreed to help.

Officials from Greece’s Ministry of Migration Affairs and the International Organization for Migration, an organization affiliated with the United Nations, were at Athens International Airport Tuesday to see the children off to Portugal.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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