Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘social workers’

Unacceptable conditions of detention for refugee minors in the Aegean say the social workers of Samos

Posted by clandestina on 3 June 2009

This is a translation of this “Elefhterotypia” article.


Unacceptable conditions of detention for refugee minors

the Association of Social Workers in Greece-Samos Prefecture Department denounced as  Unacceptable the conditions of detention, which do not even guarantee the safety of unaccompanied refugee minors, of passengers and social workers, and complained about hypocrisy in the matter, bureaucratic loopholes and transformation of the social worker into and a prison guard.

The Association stressed in the document it directed to all involved actors (political parties, ministries, local authorities, non-governmental organizations), that it finds that the states’ and pertaining services stance towards refugee minors is full of improvisations, hypocrisy and shifting of responsibilities.

Unaccompanied refugee minors who come with the slave ships to the islands, says the Association, are transferred to the Foundation «Theomitor» in Lesbos, but they shouldn’t be forced to stay there.  The institution is unable to accommodate all the children who arrive daily in the Aegean.  Nevertheless, the social worker – Commissioner, designated by the public attorney to accompany 10-20 children in accordance with the law, is accountable to the Greek courts for them, until they reach adulthood, wherever they [the children] may be!

«We will not tolerate the transformation of the social worker into , prison guard, security officer and courier of young souls», stressied the social workers of Samos. «We do not agree with the degrading of the institution of commissioning [epitropeia] to excuse the absence of a mechanism of protection for children refugees”.

What the association asks is that the wishes of unaccompanied refugee minors, who have crossed on foot half of Asia or half of Africa should be respected.  They should be given the opportunity to choose for themselves whether to go or not to the institution or to other support structures, they should be provided with education and training, with the opportunities to learn themselves about their conditions from a lawyer and translator what happens and be transported under conditions that would not risk the safety of themselves nor of the passengers or the commissioners.

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