Local CDA parties urge rethink on child refugees in Greek camps

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

Leaders from some 40 local Christian Democrat parties have called on the national party to change its position on bringing unaccompanied child refugees currently living on Greek islands to the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has refused to take in any of the children, despite repeated appeals, and the willingness of 43 separate local authorities to house them.

‘If anything does not fit in with CDA thought, it is the idea of leaving 500 orphans living in worsening conditions in Greek refugee camps,’ Klaas Valkering, who represents the CDA in Bergen, told Trouw, which published the appeal.

Groningen, Haarlem, Hilversum and Amstelveen chapters of the party are among those calling on leaders to change their minds and support the move.

Earlier this year 100 politicians, celebrities and local authorities had 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. Greece called for help last October.

However, in April, junior justice minister Ankie Broekers-Knol said she is willing to help ensure ‘several dozen’ refugee children currently living without parents on Greek islands are taken care of on the Greek mainland.

The minister said she 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 foster families in Greece.

A number of EU countries, including Germany, Portugal, Lithuania and Bulgaria and have already agreed to take in 1,600 children.

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