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1st 24 refugee kids arrive from Greece

Published : 09 Jul 2020, 02:12

Updated : 09 Jul 2020, 12:42

  DF Report

Refugee children ( Not real photo of the news article) play at the Shati refugee camp in Palestine's Gaza City June 20, 2020. File Photo Xinhua.

The first group of children from Mediterranean refugee camps in Greece arrived in Finland on Wednesday, said a press release of Finnish Immigration Services (Migri).

The first group consisted of 24 unaccompanied children and adolescents aged between 10 and 16. Most of them come from Afghanistan.

According to a government decision Finland will receive 175 vulnerable asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region.

Finland is receiving primarily unaccompanied children and adolescents as well as single-parent families. The aim of the relocations is to relieve the strained situation for reception of asylum seekers of the countries in the Mediterranean region.

“In Finland, we are well prepared and have the experience required to receive asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region. The situation on the Greek islands is very acute, and it is excellent that we can cooperate within the EU by supporting the Mediterranean countries,” said Migri Director General Jaana Vuorio.

The coronavirus situation has been considered in arranging the relocations of the refugee children. Before a relocation, each asylum seeker undergoes a health examination that includes coronavirus testing.

Everyone also undergoes a second health examination after their arrival in Finland. Before being transferred to centres specially intended for minors, the asylum seekers will spend 14 days in quarantine-like circumstances in conditions similar to those of an ordinary group home.

The authority has prepared for the relocations from the Mediterranean by expanding the current reception capacity for unaccompanied children and adolescents in the units in Espoo, Kotka, Oravainen and Oulu. In addition, a new group home is about to be established in Sipoo.

The Migri has received EUR 12 million in EU funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) for receiving asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region.

The funding will be used to cover the reception costs, as well as other costs.