With 21,000 refugee children currently stranded in Greece, last week Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan travelled to Athens to meet some of those affected by the crisis.
Nicky was joined by Tim Loughton MP on the trip which was organised by Unicef. The charity is currently providing education, child protection and accommodation to the most vulnerable, including an estimated 2,100 unaccompanied children.
Whilst there Nicky met many of these at a shelter for unaccompanied children. One of these was a boy named Mohammed who was waiting to join the rest of his family who were elsewhere in Europe. He had been waiting for so long that he was at risk of turning to people smugglers.
Speaking at the end of a two day visit Nicky said:
“We went to see for ourselves the reality facing these children today. A lot of very desperate children who have fled absolute horror in their homelands have arrived on the islands of Greece and are now still trying to find a place to rebuild their lives in safety.
“This is not just Britain’s problem alone, but it is clear there is more we can do as a nation to help, whether by offering Greece our expertise or making sure that if children have family in the UK they can reach them quickly and safely without ever having to travel through gateway countries like Greece or Italy.”
The group also travelled to the Skarmangas refugee camp, just outside the capital, where UK aid money has been used to introduce educational programmes for children in refugee camps, ran by Unicef and the British Council.