“Tens of unaccompanied refugee children” on track to arrive in Portugal

Deputy PM Eduardo Cabrita has revealed that the pilot-project underway to bring “tens of unaccompanied refugee children” to Portugal (click here) should be ready to receive them at the start of 2017.

The youngsters, aged from around 8-10 and progressing up to between 14-18, will be taken into the care of IPSS (social solidarity) institutions.

All that is needed to ‘seal the deal’ are “questions of international financing”, Cabrita told State news agency Lusa on Saturday.

Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality Catarina Marcelino has already travelled to refugee camps in Greece, to set the project in motion, Cabrita added – saying that the youngsters chosen come from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Portugal has already been hailed for its pro-active stance over refugee quotas, even if the reality of taking people displaced by conflicts has not always worked perfectly (click here).

Newspapers have made much of the numbers that arrive in Portugal, and then ‘disappear’ – destination unknown. Only last month it appeared that a Moroccan claiming political asylum ended up in France, suspected of being part of a terrorist cell (click here).

But officials have been at pains to stress these stories are simply the exceptions to the rule, as elsewhere Euro MP Ana Gomes is trying to settle an entire community of Yazidi refugees on national soil (click here).

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