Epim

Strengthening the Protection Network: A project on guardianship for unaccompanied and separated children

Strengthening the Protection Network: A project on guardianship for unaccompanied and separated children
  • 01 Jun 2016 - 01 Jul 2017
  • Status: Past
  • Children and Youth on the Move
  • Lead organisation(s)
    Metadrasi
  • Location(s)
    Greece

METAdrasi has established a Guardianship Network for unaccompanied and separated children assisting overstretched public prosecutorswho hold the legal responsibility for often hundreds of children at the same time, and cannot provide the individualised care that would be required.

Guardians who are trained, supervised and employed by METAdrasi are authorised by the First Instance Public Prosecutors and Prosecutors for minors to offer personalised support on issues relating to asylum claims and family reunification, medical care and education and to safeguard the children’s rights. They further assist in the early and accurate identification of unaccompanied and separated children.

With this project grant, METAdrasi aimed to prolong, enhance and expand the guardianship system in Athens, Lesvos and other locations of urgency. This included more trainings of guardians based on best practices in the fields of child protection and international protection in Greece and other EU countries. Additional guardians were be placed in locations such as Lesvos to enhance the identification and registration procedures at the point of first arrival. Scaling up the number and services of guardians employed by METAdrasi ensured the protection of children at particularly high risk with the provision of personalised counselling and support in order to ensure access to the asylum procedure, healthcare and education as well as promotion of the general psychosocial well-being of the children, and support in activities relevant to family reunification.

METAdrasi aimed to raise awareness of the needs of unaccompanied and separated children, including advocacy for the reform of the legal framework for guardianship in Greece, and for the establishment of an independent and flexible register of guardians for unaccompanied and separated children throughout Greece in the long term.