The National Emergency Response Mechanism estimates that there are 2,123 unaccompanied migrant minors in Greece, 202 of whom are accommodated in Reception and Identification Centers and Closed Controlled Structures, 149 in emergency accommodation facilities, and 1,575 in Reception Centers.

The rise in the number of unaccompanied migrant children’s arrivals in Greece is concerning, with 30% of those boarding vessels from African shores headed for South Crete being unaccompanied minors.

Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum, Sofia Voultepsi, recently highlighted these increasing numbers, adding that some days witnessed as many as 80 unaccompanied arrivals in the country.

Since the beginning of the year, over 1,000 refugees and migrants have traveled approximately 150 miles from the shores of Africa, arriving in South Crete and Gavdos. “There is a flow towards South Crete. They would usually move to Italy from the African shores before continuing to Lampedusa from Tobruk in Libya. Now we have a flow from Egypt. At the same time, the problem in the Northeastern Aegean has not stopped. We are under relative pressure, controlled of course by the Coast Guard,” Mrs. Voultepsi stated in an interview.

According to officials from the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, what is concerning is that many children, mostly from Egypt, undertake this dangerous journey alone and are found alone on the boats

Unaccompanied minors arriving in South Crete are transferred to the Malakasa Reception and Identification Center. According to reliable sources, at this moment, 40 unaccompanied minors accommodated in the Reception and Identification Center are awaiting a spot in a facility, with the competent authorities making efforts to find space daily.