Junior justice minister Ankie Broekers-Knol is willing to help ensure ‘several dozen’ refugee children currently living without parents on Greek islands are taken care off on the Greek mainland, current affairs show Nieuwsuur reported on Thursday evening.
This, the programme said, would be done together with charity Movement on the Ground, set up by Dutch television presenter Johnny de Mol, which specialises in setting up safe houses for vulnerable children.
The minister is also willing to help set up a guardianship programme, similar to that which operates in the Netherlands so that the children can be placed with Greek foster families, Nieuwsuur said, quoting sources in The Hague.
But she is adamant that no children will be brought to the Netherlands, even though 40 local authorities have said they are prepared to help.
On Thursday, over 100 politicians, celebrities and local authorities urged the Dutch government to take in some of the 2,500 children who are living in squalid refugee camps on Greek islands without parents or guardians.
They signed a page-sized advert in the NRC and NRC Next newspapers calling on the government to take urgent action. Greece called for help last October.
‘The minister repeatedly says that Greece holds the solution but this is unacceptable,’ the statement said. ‘The Netherlands should show solidarity with Greece and countries such as Luxemburg and Germany and take in a share of these children.’
Some 1,600 of the children will be moving to Germany, France, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and other EU countries.
Broekers-Knol’s plan will be discussed by the cabinet on Friday, Nieuwsuur said.
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