Refugees: Greece

Home Office written question – answered on 20th July 2016.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what level of support her Department has given to the Greek authorities to assist with processing refugees and identifying those who may qualify for relocation to the UK under the Dublin III arrangements for family reunion.

Photo of Robert Goodwill Robert Goodwill The Minister for Immigration

The Government continues to work with key EU Member States to ensure the Dublin Regulation family reunification process works effectively.

The UK continues to offer support to Greece both bilaterally and through the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). In addition to our regular short-term deployments to support Dublin family transfers to the UK, the UK has offered 75 expert personnel to help with the processing and administration of migrants in reception centres, act as interpreters, provide medical support and bolster our existing team assisting the Commission to ensure effective and efficient co-ordination.

We are working with partners to ensure that those who qualify for family reunification under the Dublin III arrangements are processed efficiently. Furthermore, we continue to work with partners and the Greek authorities to identify and transfer vulnerable unaccompanied refugee children from Europe to the UK where it is in their best interests, as set out in the Immigration Act 2016. This is not a simple task. We are working through the complex legal and safeguarding systems of other countries in order to ensure that any actions we take are always in the child’s best interest. We have recently seconded an expert to Greece, who is embedded within the relevant department to coordinate efforts on this initiative.

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