Unacceptable conditions for the detention of unaccompanied minors in Northern Greece

Unacceptable conditions for the detention of unaccompanied minors in Northern Greece

During a series of inspections in Northern Greece, from 17 to 19 July 2017, the Ombudsman was faced with unacceptable detention conditions of unaccompanied minors in Northern Greece, as a significant number of them are subject to unfavourable conditions of deprivation of liberty. A group of Investigators led by the Deputy Ombudsman for Children’s Rights of the Independent Authority, carried out on-the-spot checks in police stations and in structures and hosting facilities for immigrants and refugees, where minors are accommodated, in Diavata, Lagadikia, Volvi, Serres, Kavala and Drama. The checks showed, inter alia, that many minors remain in police stations up to several weeks in completely unsuitable facilities and without the right to go outdoors.

The Ombudsman reaffirmed that the stay of unaccompanied children in detention facilities, such as police stations and pre-removal centres, constitutes a flagrant violation of their rights and poses a direct risk to their smooth unobstructed development. The Ombudsman’s visit to Northern Greece took place within the framework of the monitoring mechanism for the rights of children on the move, supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund/UNICEF.

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