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Cyprus

New semi-independent living spaces for unaccompanied minors

Pournara reception centre

The International Organistion for Migration (IOM) on Monday announced the creation in Cyprus of new semi-independent living structures for unaccompanied migrant children above the age of 16.

The first group of unaccompanied minors has already been transferred to the new group living structures, the IOM said.

“Given the absence of family support and the small chances of family reunification, the appropriate living conditions and adequate preparation for the transition to adulthood are essential” said the head of IOM Cyprus, Natasa Xenofontos Koudounas.

According to Kounoudas, the majority of unaccompanied migrant children arriving on the island are aged from 16 to 17.

The new programme aims to cover the children’s individual needs, and to promote their integration into the local community by ensuring their access to education, vocational training, health services and psychosocial support.

Children will have access sanitary equipment during the pandemic, including reusable masks, gloves and antiseptic.

Information is also provided on preventive measures against the spread of Covid-19, as defined by the ministry of health and the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.

The Cyprus’ migration office and the welfare services of the labour ministry are overseeing the progamme.

There are around 200 unaccompanied minors in Cyprus.

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