One hundred vulnerable refugees from Greece in the Netherlands

This week, the last vulnerable refugees from Greece will arrive in the Netherlands as part of the Dutch offer to resettle a group of 100 vulnerable refugees from Greece in the Netherlands. Of this group, 62 have already arrived in the Netherlands, with the rest to follow this week. This concerns 21 families with 55 children and two unaccompanied minor aliens (UMAs). Of these 57 children, 56 are aged 14 or under, with 30 under the age of five.

The Dutch offer was prompted by the fires in the Greek reception camp Moria in September. As explained by the Minister for Migration in November, the selection was not limited to people who were staying in the Moria camp at the time of the fires at the request of the Greek authorities and the European Commission. The main consideration for selection was the vulnerability of the refugees.

‘The welfare of the most vulnerable was paramount in this resettlement. Together with Greece, we have worked hard to receive 100 refugees in the Netherlands. I am pleased that the last families with children and the unaccompanied minors will be arriving in the Netherlands this week, despite the strict lockdown.’ 

Minister for Migration Ankie Broekers-Knol said on Tuesday.

The refugees must have tested negative for COVID-19 and undergone quarantine in Greece before their arrival in the Netherlands. Upon arrival, they will first stay in a facility of the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA), after which they will be moved to permanent accommodation as soon as possible. This will be done in consultation with municipal authorities.

Prior to the resettlement, the Dutch government investigated whether UMAs were eligible for asylum in the Netherlands in order to prevent them from being transferred to the Netherlands and then having to leave the country at a later date. During the selection, it turned out that there were hardly any UMAs under the age of 15 in Greece that fit these criteria. That is why more families with young children are coming to the Netherlands as part of this group. The limited number of UMAs who did fit the criteria often turned out to have family members in another EU Member State. For this reason, they were resettled in those Member States. The two UMAs for whom the Netherlands is a suitable resettlement destination will be received by Nidos on their arrival in the Netherlands.