11-year-old Hassan was the first child known to have travelled out of Ukraine to relatives in Slovakia since the start of the war. Credit: Ministry of Slovakia (https://greekreporter.com/2022/03/11/11-ukrainian-refugee-slovakia-alone-hassan/)

350 refugee children arrive in Portugal without parents

16 “completely alone” 

Around 350 Ukrainian children have arrived in Portugal without parents or legal representatives; 16 of them described as “completely alone”, a source from the state prosecutor’s office has told Lusa.

According to the same source, the situation of these 16 “was immediately taken to the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCJ)” to enable them to adopt “urgent procedures and provide adequate assistance“.

The source also said that since the start of the war on February 24, roughly 350 unaccompanied minors have arrived in Portugal, but in the presence of someone other than their parent or proven legal representative.

This leads to the situation being reported to the prosecutor’s office for the appointment of a legal representative.

In replies to questions sent by Lusa, SEF borders agency said that over 28,500 requests for temporary protection have been granted to Ukrainians and foreign citizens living in Ukraine since the beginning of the war; 10,126 of which relate to children.

In a recent interview to Lusa one of the SEF inspectors involved in the process of requests for temporary protection explained many children are arriving in Portugal without their parents, but accompanied by close relatives. It is these cases that are communicated to the prosecutor’s office – while the ‘children completely alone’ are considered in “current and/ or imminent danger” and thus referred to the CPCJ.

Again, in response to questions, SEF stressed that this far there has been no evidence of illegal activities related to the crimes of human trafficking or aiding illegal immigration” by citizens or entities that are providing support to Ukrainian refugees.

Source: Lusa