This report aims to highlight the importance of strengthening the multiple durable solutions available for unaccompanied children in Greece. These include family reunification for children with family elsewhere in Europe, relocation to other European countries, enhanced foster care support for younger children, and the provision of supported independent living (SIL) options for children over 16 years of age.
The fundamental right to a private and family life is recognised under international and European law. In practice, however, migrants’ enjoyment of their right to family life is often denied or obstructed by flaws in registration and asylum procedures, authorities’ failures to ensure the timely identification, substantiation and submission of family reunification requests, and, most critically, by the continued and knowing bad faith of other EU Member States in their implementation of the Dublin Regulation, through ungrounded or unfair rejections of family reunification requests coming from Greece.
Over the past five years, an entirely avoidable and predictable policy-driven humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in the Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, and Kos, with devasting consequences for the people trapped there. After fleeing their homes and surviving harrowing journeys to Europe, the indefinite containment, limbo, and systematic violence in Greece further traumatises people seeking protection.