EU Failure on Unaccompanied Minors ‘A Shameful Abdication of Responsibility’

Statement by Refugees International’s Senior Advocate for Women and Girls Devon Cone on the current situation of unaccompanied minors in Greece and the Greek Prime Minister’s announcement of the new “No Child Alone” program:

“Of the more than 5,000 unaccompanied minors who have recently arrived in Greece, more than 1,600 of these children are stuck in miserable conditions on the islands, and the majority of them are living in tents outside of formal shelters. This week, I saw some of these children in Lesvos and Samos. Their living conditions are deplorable and put them at risk of exploitation, illness, and violence.

A Greek government program announced by Prime Minister Mitsotakis to protect and assist these children, “No Child Alone,” is a step in the right direction. But the asylum system in Greece is overwhelmed, and it is astonishing that Greece’s calls for assistance from the European Union have been refused.

In particular, the Greek government recently asked the EU to accept 3,000 unaccompanied minors, but EU countries refused. This is a shameful abdication of responsibility and a dismal failure of European solidarity and values.”   

Devon Cone is currently on a fact-finding mission on conditions for asylum seekers in Greece. For an interview with Devon or for more information, please contact Sarah Sheffer at or 202 540 7029.