Portugal is currently receiving a group of 22 unaccompanied minors, all over 14 years old, from refugee camps in Greece and will stay in Lisbon and in the northern regions of the country, announces the Government.

Most of these 22 minors are from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Gambia, according to the joint press release from the cabinets of the minister of state and the presidency and the minister of internal administration.

These unaccompanied children and young people – aged 14 and over – will be received under the Voluntary Relocation Program. They will be welcomed in Specialized Care Units of a temporary nature, followed by referral for responses that are adequate to their individual expectations and life projects.”, refers to the note.

The arrival of this group in Portugal is a response by the Portuguese Government, “recognizing the special vulnerability of minors”, to the appeal of the Greek Government and the European Commission, made in March 2020, for the relocation of approximately 5,500 minors who were previously in the country.

With the arrival of these 22 minors, there are already 100 minors in the country. According to data from Brussels, this month of May, Portugal is the 4th Member State that has hosted the most unaccompanied minors, after France, Germany and Finland”, refers to the press release.

The document highlights that “the integration and reception of refugees has been a priority of the Government, in a continuous effort” that involves the central State, local authorities and civil society organizations.

“This concerted action has been recognized by the United Nations, including the United Nations Agency for Migration – the International Organization for Migration – by the European Union and by the Council of Europe”, he stresses.

According to the statement, under the Resettlement Program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Portugal has already received 724 people from Egypt and Turkey, with different nationalities, from Syria, Iraq, Ethiopia, Sudan, Sudan South, Eritrea and Somalia.

“Portugal has also responded positively to all emergency situations arising from rescues at sea, having already received 234 rescued in the Mediterranean over the last few years”, he says.

Under the European Union Relocation Program, Portugal was the 6th European country that received more refugees, receiving 1,550 people from Greece (1,190) and Italy (360), between December 2015 and April 2018, and were welcomed by 97 municipalities.

There is also in Portugal a family of three elements, who arrived under the administrative agreement signed between the Ministry of Internal Administration of Portugal and the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, which provides for the transfer of 100 beneficiaries/applicants for international protection in one phase pilot.

Portugal also received 142 asylum seekers under the agreement between the EU and Turkey, between June 2016 and December 2017.

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