A Place Like Home

Unaccompanied Minors in the EU
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The Campaign

‘A Place Like Home’ was created with the purpose of providing information regarding unaccompanied minors in Europe and to respond, raise awareness, and provide an overview of the situation of refugee and migrant children in terms of integration including shelter and accomodation, education needs, and family reunification.

Unaccompanied minors infographic

According to UNICEF, despite drastic measures to stop irregular migration, including pushback at borders and constraints on rescue operations, the influx is expected to remain high.

In 2019, 676,300 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, around 30 % of them are children. With the recent spike in the number of arrivals on the Eastern Mediterranean route, the situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the Greek Islands remain challenging, with over-crowding, unsafe accommodations and limited access to basic services.

Furthermore, girls and boys traveling alone – are the most vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including gender – based violence.

Why do Unaccompanied minors come to the EU?

  • To escape from wars & conflicts, poverty, natural disasters, discrimination, and persecution. These can often lead to serious harm or death and necessitate minors seeking international protection.
  • These conditions lead to minors seeking a better life. Whether economic, aspirational, or simply to live in a safe and accepting environment.
  • Many of these minors are fleeing the reality of human trafficking. This can be sexual exploitation, forced labor, etc…

While the EU relocation plan has been welcomed by children’s rights groups, it leaves more than 43,000 refugee and migrant children stranded in Greece, according to UNICEF estimates from last December. Close to 5,000 of them are unaccompanied. On the islands, there are currently some 10,000 migrant and refugee children, some 12% of whom are unaccompanied. That’s according to the most recent UNHCR figures.

Many of these children are locked down in dangerously overcrowded and unsanitary camps on the Aegean islands, the biggest of which is Moria on Lesbos.

Although the Greek government has moved more than 14,000 migrants from Lesbos to facilities on the Greek mainland since January to try to relieve the overcrowding, some 15,000 people remain in Moria. The capacity of the camp is around 2,800 people.
The children there, already exposed to risks to their mental health according to experts, are suffering under added strain in an atmosphere of heightened fear and violence.

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Two in three asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors in the EU in 2019 were the citizens of six countries: Afghanistan (30%), Syria and Pakistan (both 10%) as well as Somalia, Guinea or Iraq (5% each).

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The Campaign

‘A Place Like Home’ was created with the purpose of providing information regarding unaccompanied minors in Europe and to respond, raise awareness, and provide an overview of the situation of refugee and migrant children in terms of integration including shelter and accomodation, education needs, and family reunification.

Why Become A Sponsor?

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