UNICEF: Migrant and refugee children continue to suffer a year after EU-Turkey Statement – JURIST

Refugee Children

[JURIST] On Friday the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund [official website] (UNICEF) released a statement [press release] on the effects of the EU-Turkey Statement [materials] on immigrant and refugee children. UNICEF has warned that the closure of the Balkan borders and the deal have left children exposed to a greater risk of exploitation, detention, deportation, and deprivation. UNICEF Regional Director Afshan Khan stated that although there has been been a decrease of children on the move, “there has been an increase in the threats and distress refugee and migrant children endure.” A UNICEF report [materials] detailed the many ordeals children face when fleeing conflict zones for safety in Europe. The EU-Turkey Statement has led to children being forced to take more dangerous routes to flee these war zones; already 3,000 migrants have made it to Greece in 2017. In Greece there are about 2,100 unaccompanied children, half of which are living in poor conditions.

The influx of refugees to the shores of Europe has caused numerous problems for the EU. On Friday several advocacy groups released a statement alleging the current living conditions for asylum seekers in Grecian camps is having a negative effect [JURIST report] on mental health. In January Turkey threatened to end [JURIST report] its migration deal with Greece over the release of eight Turkish soldiers. In January the UN released a report showing that 2016 produced record high [JURIST report] migrant deaths.

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