Our country is ready to receive twelve unaccompanied minors from the destroyed Moria reception camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. It will attract European colleagues with that proposal. This is reported by De Morgen and the news is confirmed by the cabinet of Minister of Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block (Open Vld).
The camp and the accompanying fire have already been given an unflattering nickname: the Hell of Moria. The images spoke volumes after a severe fire last week almost completely reduced the overcrowded camp to ashes. At least 12,000 people are homeless and roam the Greek island. Among other things, an image of a child who had to use a curb as a pillow provoked international outrage.
France and Germany have already taken the initiative within the EU to receive 400 unaccompanied minors. Within this framework, Belgium commits itself to receive twelve unaccompanied minors during this phase. That equates to 3 percent of the unaccompanied minors in the camp. That three percent is based on the share of the Belgian population in the European Union and the available reception capacity for unaccompanied minors in our country. The twelve unaccompanied minors will end up in the Belgian asylum procedure. It is not yet clear when they will arrive in our country. In July, eighteen unaccompanied minors from Greece came to our country. That procedure was then started in May. Our country is looking to the Greek government for the selection of the twelve minors.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already indicated that she will receive 1,500 migrants in Germany in addition to the European initiative. It would concern families with children, who are already recognized in Greece as dependent. Belgium also does not exclude other groups and more people from the camp. But Belgium expects Greece to make its needs known first and will then look at the possibilities for additional reception.