Cyprus Mail

Unaccompanied refugee minors in Larnaca protest over application delays

Authorities went on alert on Thursday after a group of youths left a reception centre for unaccompanied minors in Aradippou, Larnaca.

The group of 17 minors, all from Somalia, were noticed absent from the reception centre shortly before 5pm.

Shortly after, they were spotted on the Phinikoudes strip.

Persons staying at the reception centre are free to come and go, however police went on alert due to the simultaneous and en masse departure of the 17 youths.

It’s understood that the group intended to mount a protest of some form at Phinikoudes to draw attention to their demands.

By around 8pm, two of the 17 were persuaded to return to the reception centre, while the rest continued discussions with welfare services officers.

According to the state broadcaster, the youths were complaining about delays in the processing of their applications; they have applied for the status of political refugee, wishing to travel to Sweden.

In immigration law unaccompanied minors, also known as separated children, are generally defined as foreign nationals or stateless persons below the age of 18, who arrive on the territory of a state unaccompanied by a responsible adult, and for as long as they are not effectively taken into care of such a person. It includes minors who are left unaccompanied after they entered the territory of state.

According to EU data, a total of 105 unaccompanied minors, 62 per cent of whom were male and 7 per cent under the age of 14, corresponding to 19.8 per cent of the total asylum applications processed in 2015, arrived in Cyprus last year.

Out of the 105 boys and girls, 45 came from Somalia, 25 from Syria, and 20 from the Palestinian territories.


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