Voluntary relocation scheme from Greece to other European Countries
TITLE: Voluntary relocation scheme from Greece to other European Countries
Duration: 1 April 2020 – 30 October 2021
Funded by Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission (DG HOME) AMIF Emergency Assistance (EMAS)
PARTNERS: UNHCR, UNICEF
With the twin objectives to support vulnerable groups and enhance solidarity among European Union (EU) Member States and associated countries, IOM in collaboration with EASO, UNHCR and UNICEF is supporting the Greek Government, the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and the General Secretary of Migration Policy in relocating asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection from Greece to other EU Member States. The voluntary mechanism aims to prepare and relocate 1600 Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMC). This includes applicants and beneficiaries of international protection, including children with severe medical conditions or other vulnerabilities who are accompanied by their family members.
IOM is collaborating with its partners and other sub-contracted organizations (ARSIS, Merimna, METAdrasi, PRAKSIS, Syn-eirmos, Terre des Hommes, Solidarity Now, Zeuxis) to ensure beneficiaries travel in a safe and dignified manner and to prepare them before departure with enhanced skills and information to ease their integration in the Member State of Relocation (MSR).
- Best interest assessment (BIA)
- Authorized representatives for unaccompanied minors (ARUAMS)
- Accompaniment of UMC from RIC
- Accommodation of beneficiaries in transit hubs
- Facilitation of information sessions and selection missions
- Transfer and integration reports upon relocation
- Implementation of pre-migration health activities
- Pre-departure orientation (PDO) and pre-embarkation information provision
- Movement management and reception assistance
- Technical assistance to the office of the Special Secretary for UMC
IOM’S ROLE IN THE PROJECT
Transit accommodation and tailored direct assistance will be provided to beneficiaries in Transit Hubs to ensure their inclusion under a protective environment and to facilitate the relocation process. Therefore, beneficiaries will reside in the Hubs until the necessary preparatory actions and/or pre-departure activities are completed. During their stay and based on the needs, IOM will provide psychological support, legal assistance, interpretation and medical assistance.
Concerning the caseload of Unaccompanied Children and upon the selection of UMC by the competent authorities and in accordance to the established procedures, beneficiaries will be referred to IOM specialized staff to conduct case management and prepare the transfer and integration report. Aiming at contributing to the determination as to whether relocation is in the best interests of the UMC, the report shall be submitted to the child’s legal guardian to obtain the consent to the child’s transfer to the specific MSR and authorize escort for the transfer.
Based on a common Health Protocol established for the purposes of relocation from Greece, IOM will perform pre – migration health activities (MHAs) and other assessments for all beneficiaries selected for relocation by the competent authorities, to primarily ensure continuity of care throughout the pre-departure, travel, transit and post-arrival phases, as well as to address public health, safety concerns as well as the well-being of the project’s beneficiaries. Furthermore, specific provisions will be in place in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, in accordance to guidelines of the relevant Greek and MSR authorities [e.g. MoH and the National Public Health Organization (EODY)], as well as any requirements imposed by airline companies, such as the conduction of COVID-19 tests to all beneficiaries
Pre-departure sessions will be delivered by IOM Greece to provide the beneficiaries with updated practical information on the MSR. This information will be collected in coordination with IOM Offices and relevant authorities in the MSR and shall primarily concern, among others:
- Rights and obligations upon arrival
- Asylum procedures in the MSR
- Types of available accommodation
- Education and training opportunities
- Presence of a migrant community
- Place of worship
- Opportunities for social and athletic activities.
In addition, and a few days prior to departure, IOM staff will deliver a short pre-embarkation information session to the beneficiaries strictly referring to airport and travel procedures (baggage allowance, flight details etc.).
IOM in coordination with the Greek authorities and the MSR authorities will carry out all necessary travel arrangements and will also ensure transportation to Athens airport on the day of departure and airport assistance within the airport (e.g. check-in, baggage drop-off), as well as catering to beneficiaries in need, and operational and or medical escorts during the flight. Transit (if needed) and arrival assistance will be also provided in coordination with the IOM Office in the respective country, while, where needed, the IOM Offices in the MSR will remain available to provide regular follow-up support to beneficiaries during their reception.