Providing housing and protection to more than 3,000 unaccompanied children

Athens - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the General Secretariat for Vulnerable Persons & Institutional Protection announced today that 3,173 unaccompanied children living in precarious conditions in Greece received protection and housing services from the beginning of 2022 until October 31, 2023. 

The IOM, under the coordination of the competent General Secretariat of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and within the framework of the National Emergency Response Mechanism, which aims to identify and immediately accommodate unaccompanied children living in a state of homelessness or in unsafe conditions in Emergency Accommodation Facilities, is currently operating five emergency facilities for unaccompanied minors nationwide, with a total capacity of 200 children. 

In the above facilities, psychosocial, legal, educational, and healthcare support are provided, whereas, during the children's stay, the registration of their request for international protection is also completed. During the children's stay, individual assessment of their needs takes place, catering for special needs, and the process for best interest is completed, to find a suitable framework for long-term accommodation. 

Among the children accommodated, 1,273 were identified as homeless, 811 were identified by the Greek authorities, 431 were in reception and identification centers, and 402 were in open accommodation facilities in mainland Greece. 

Among the children, 2.844 were boys and 329 girls, mainly from Afghanistan (1,106), Pakistan (638), Somalia (446), Syria (254) and Egypt (231). 

IOM in collaboration with NERM of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum has secured sustainable solutions for a total of 2,328 children to date. 1,994 were referred to long-term accommodation facilities, 131 reached adulthood, 107 lived in semi-independent living facilities and 89 were reunited with their families in Greece. 

Children who are left homeless or in unsafe conditions are referred to the NERM via the Identification Hotline, mainly by the Greek authorities (Police, Asylum Service, Hospitals, etc.) and the cooperating actors of NERM, i.e. Arsis in Thessaloniki and the Network for Children's Rights in Athens (through mobile units and information offices), and other organizations active in the field of child protection. 

From March 2023 until today, the emergency accommodation facilities are funded by the Swiss Government and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum within the framework of the Swiss-Greek Cooperation Programme. 

From December 2021 until February 2023 the programme was funded through a grant from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Available Data here 

For more information, please contact Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece,