Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD has today announced action by Ireland to respond to the crisis in Moria refugee camp in Lesbos.
Speaking today, the Minister said:
"Last week, we witnessed the shocking scene of a fire destroying large sections of the Moria migrant camp in Lesbos. The fire compounded the incredibly difficult circumstances in which so many people are living.
"Over the last few days, I have been actively engaging with Tusla, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Foreign Affairs with a view to expediting the transfer of unaccompanied children from Greek camps.
"I have therefore asked that arrangements be made with Tusla to accelerate the arrival of 4 more unaccompanied children in the coming weeks. I would like to extend my thanks to Tusla colleagues who have responded rapidly to this request to bring these young people to safety.
"In addition to this, my officials and I are working with Tusla to identify additional resources, in the context of Budget 2021, to meet our commitments to the transfer of unaccompanied children in Greece to Ireland as quickly as possible.
"I know that Irish people want to see us playing our part in helping these children, and I acknowledge that Ireland has more to do in this regard. I will continue to work with colleagues across Government and state agencies to fulfil our commitment."
Notes to the Editor:
as part of an EU-wide commitment, Ireland has undertaken to accept 36 children, 8 of whom arrived in the State last June.
Tusla provides care for all unaccompanied children who arrive in Ireland. This is done under the same legislation and standards as for all children in the care of the State. In addition to care and support, unaccompanied children receive education in mainstream schools or specialist preparatory provision and are entitled to medical cards to cover medical expenses.
on 31 December 2019, Tusla had 67 Separated Children Seeking Asylum in their care.