UNICEF statement on children affected by the Moria camp fire on Lesvos Island, Greece

The safe transfer of 406 unaccompanied and separated refugee and migrant children from Lesvos Island to the Greek mainland, following this week’s fire at the Moria Reception and Identification Centre, is a welcome and long-sought move.

Far too many other children and families will face yet another night in the open. They urgently require shelter, protection, and access to basic services.

The Moria fire has also made clear that they require durable solutions. All children need to be transferred off Lesvos onto the mainland, where they can be properly housed and supported. Early indications from European countries that they will relocate vulnerable unaccompanied minors are extremely important, and we appeal to more countries to take action.

Greece cannot continue to carry the effort alone. UNICEF will continue to support our Greek partners and the work by Member States to protect and promote the rights and well-being of refugee and migrant children. The upcoming EU Pact on Migration and Asylum will be a crucial opportunity to take forward a common and shared approach to protecting children in migration in Europe.

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