The Czech Republic will not admit children from Greek refugee camps as Greece refuses to provide the required list of 40 orphans, stated Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamáček.
According to Hamáček, it is possible that the so-called children refugees may include Afghan or Pakistani boys between 16 and 18 years of age.
“The Greeks themselves say their placement in families is not realistic. They point out that they would have to be placed in some special institutions. I will not bring 18-year-old Afghan boys to the Czech Republic because I consider them a security risk,” said the Minister, adding that he considers the matter closed.
“The Greek side has made it clear that it will not send the list of 40 children, claiming that the cases must be approached on an individual basis,” continued Hamáček.
Last year, Greece called on all EU interior ministers to accept unaccompanied children from Greek refugee camps. Hamáček then said that the Greek side is only trying to relaunch the debate on the redistribution of refugees, adding that he sees no sense in relocating 17-year-olds without asylum rights around Europe.
Later, he urged Athens to provide a specific list of 40 children that the Czech Republic could potentially accept.
At that time, Czech MEP Michaela Šojdrová proposed to accept 50 Syrian orphans from the Greek refugee camps.
The “Czechs help initiative”, one of the projects dealing with the refugee issue, announced that about 200 Czech families are willing to accept refugee children from Greek camps. However, the founder of the initiative, Jaroslav Miko, confirmed that the Czech Interior Minister had asked for a concrete list of Syrian children, and the Greek side repeatedly refused to provide it.
Nevertheless, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has stated on a number of occasions that the Czech Republic will not accept any refugees and that the best approach is to manage migratory pressures in the countries that produce the largest amount of refugees.
According to Médecins Sans Frontières representatives, there were 5,000 unaccompanied refugee children in Greece last November. In the refugee center on the island of Samos, there were 7,000 people, 300 of which were unaccompanied children. However, only 15 percent of them were under 13 years of age.