KDU.breadcrumbs.homeNews EU Prime Minister Babiš has not blocked the initiative to receive child victims of the war in Syria. He

Prime Minister Babiš has not blocked the initiative to receive child victims of the war in Syria. He transferred the responsibility on the civic society.

Added 9/22/2018
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Member of the European parliament Michaela Šojdrová met Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček on Friday 21/9 to present them her plan on granting international protection (supplementary protection) in the Czech Republic to unaccompanied minors from Syria who are in Greek refugee camps.  Ms. Šojdrová supports the initiative Češi pomáhají, which has been calling for a more welcoming approach of the Czech government to the victims of the war in Syria for more than a year. At the meeting there was Jaroslav Mika speaking for the initiative. This initiative was also supported at the meeting by senators Václav Hampl, Chairman of the Committee on the Affairs of the European Union, and Zdeněk Papoušek, Chairman of the Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights and Petitions. Martin Rozumek took part on behalf the Organization for Aid for Refugees, and Samira Sibai, a Czech-Syrian physician on behalf of the Syrian community.

Michaela Šojdrová requested the government to accept 50 unaccompanied children from Greek refugee camps. A bilateral agreement between the Czech Republic and Greece, just like the help is done by Great Britain, was suggested. A suggestion on how this help to child victims of the war in Syria would look like was handed over in writing by Ms. Šojdrová.

The Prime Minister got familiar with our proposal and told us he does not count with the government’s initiative. He asked us for a concrete list of unaccompanied children in the area. The Prime Minister and the Minister of the Interior promised the cooperation of the state administration, which is necessary for the implementation of this initiative. We agreed that once we have the first group of children, we will meet again, “said Šojdrová after the meeting.

Šojdrová’s proposal is based on British experience. Great Britain has adopted 350 children from Greece and French Calais during the last two years, based on law until the end of 2017. This program of helping child victims of the war was successful, the Irish and the French are following this practice, and the British continue this year again.   

Prime Minister Babiš leaves the initiative to us, but he confirmed that the Ministry of Interior will provide cooperation. Our task now is to find minors without parents in refugee facilities in Greece and at the same time to find suitable Czech families or facilities that would care for them. We will start with a small number of the smallest and most vulnerable children first, maybe 5-10,” Ms. Šojdrová explains the outcomes of the meeting.

An informal platform, representatives of politicians, civil society and experts, will start working from the next week on finding a safe place in the Czech Republic for Syrian children who are currently in refugee facilities in Greece. According to recent reports, the situation in the detention registration centres on the islands (hotspots, such as Moria on the island of Lesbos) is becoming critical due to overpopulation. Children are in danger here. The situation tends to get worse, so it is not possible to postpone the help at a more politically suitable time. According to the latest data from the Greek National Center for Social Solidarity, there are 3 510 unaccompanied minors (as of 15/7/2018) - so-called unaccompanied minor migrants in Greece - on the mainland and the adjacent islands, 2 485 of them are waiting for a safe location and currently there are 1,191 available locations. The rest remains in the camps. 14,23 % of them are children from Syria.

If the initiative is not taken by the government, it is up to the civic society to help. Later, the Czech government may understand the civic and political importance of such solidarity. A positive outcome of the meeting is a promise of cooperation. Therefore, I will no more comment it because there is much in stake. Our goal is to act in favour of the children, humanity and the good image of the Czech Republic,” Michaela Šojdrová summarizes the outcomes of the meeting.

Source: https://www.sojdrova.cz/zpravy/2018/09/schuzka-michaely-sojdrove-a-andreje-babise-k-prijeti-syrskych-deti-bez-doprovodu