Safeguarding children at Greek border points (MERIMNA)
The project is funded by the Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission (DG HOME)
Duration: March 2019 – September 2021
Description: Through this action IOM will target migrants and refugees residing in Reception and Identification Centres (RICs) and in the mainland, with particular focus on children and especially Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMC) aiming to address the immediate need to improve living conditions and protection gaps.
More specifically, in response to the particularly challenging living and protection conditions for refugees and migrants, including UMCs, in Greece, IOM will implement targeted interventions to ensure that UMCs have access to proper safe transit accommodation in RICs, receive immediate assistance by specialised staff in line with their best interest and are timely referred to more appropriate care arrangements in long term or temporary accommodation. UNICEF will address the needs of women and children residing in selected RICs through the operation of CFSH where they will have access to education and child protection services.
In addition, the Action will enhance access of children and their families to formal education and structured Non-Formal Education (NFE) learning opportunities, with the ultimate objective to improve inclusion within host communities. IOM in partnership with UNICEF will support access to formal education through interpretation services aiming to facilitate communication and overcome language barriers between school staff and migrant/refugee students and their parents, thus promoting their integration and inclusion within Greek society.
The present Action aims at promoting resilience of migrant and refugee children and families in Greece by ensuring inclusion in quality protection and education.
The overall objective of the Action will be two-folds:
- Improving living conditions and access to protection and education for migrants and refugees residing in RICs, with particular emphasis on families and children.
- Promoting the integration of migrant and refugee children and their families within host communities through access to education.
The project is expected to contribute to the wellbeing of at least 600 UMCs upon arrival to Greece, guaranteeing their protection and promoting a feeling of safety and inclusion, while at the same time, answering to their immediate needs.
- Operation of 5 safe areas for UMCs in RICs of Samos, Lesvos, Leros, Kos, Chios to ensure dignified living conditions, offer necessary assistance in line with each child’s best interest and prevent any protection or other risks.
- Provision of holistic Child Protection services and Non-Food Items for families and children, including UMCs, in close proximity of the RICs where the most heightened needs have been identified, through the operation of Child and Family Support Hubs (CFSH)
- Provision of interpretation services in public schools.
- Provision and maintenance of internet access and connectivity in the RICs
Partners: UNICEF, METAdrasi, NetHope, NGO Iliaktida, NGO Zeuxis
Target group(s): Children, including UMCs, as well as families living in RICs
Areas of action: Mainland, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kos