The situation of refugees and migrant groups amid the COVID-19 outbreak is demanding more than ever urgent action by European governments. The European Humanist Federation urges EU Member States relocate unaccompanied children from Greek islands, in solidarity with each other and with migrants as human beings.
Earlier in March this year, seven EU Member States announced they would take in unaccompanied minors on the Greek islands. This happened after civil society groups and Members of the European Parliament drew attention to the dire living conditions in Greece’s refugee camps, where overcrowding makes it impossible to apply measures like isolation or social distancing.
Since then, immediate action is still vital to ensure the protection of these children. Although several EU Member States pledged to relocate them, the implementation of these commitments seems to have largely slowed down. In addition, 16 EU countries have not agreed to relocation yet.
The EHF calls on EU Member States that have agreed on relocation to fulfill their commitment to relocate unaccompanied children. We also call on EU countries that have not pledged relocation yet to do so and to ensure those engagements are immediately implemented.
The EHF also encourages its member organisations to send the same demands to their national governments, namely Denmark, Austria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, and Sweden – countries that have not yet agreed to the relocation of unaccompanied children.