From file: Migrants arrive in Pozzallo, near Ragusa, Sicily, Italy | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/FRANCESCO RUTA
From file: Migrants arrive in Pozzallo, near Ragusa, Sicily, Italy | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/FRANCESCO RUTA

A new report published by Oxfam and other NGOs has denounced that underage migrants who have travelled to Europe on their own face obstacles once they turn 18 due to a complicated bureaucracy.

Underage migrants who travelled to Europe alone confront major challenges after their 18th birthday because of a complicated bureaucracy that makes it nearly impossible for them to get training and find a job in the country that is hosting them.

The alarm was launched on June 10 by Oxfam, the Greek Council for Refugees, the Dutch Council for Refugees and ACLI France in a new report.

The document urged the European Union and host countries, in particular Italy, France, Greece, Ireland and the Netherlands to intervene in order to solve the emergency.

6,633 unaccompanied minors hosted in Italy

Although the number of arrivals has decreased over the last few years, there are currently 6,633 unaccompanied foreign minors hosted in Italy. Countries like France host over 30,000 minors.

"These youths have often endured terrible experiences", Oxfam said. The organization in particular spoke about "what happened over the past few months in the Balkans and at the eastern Italian border, where many unaccompanied minors were pushed back by border police and forced to travel once again through Bosnia."

On the Greek islands, the organization went on to say, "hundreds of minors without a family have been stranded for months in refugee camps without access to services and education."

Oxfam also spoke about the difficult situation on Italy's coasts.

Appeal to the Italian government

Giulia Capitani, policy advisor of Oxfam Italia on migration and asylum, said the organization is asking the Italian government to "manage in a more organic way the passage into adulthood of unaccompanied minors, guaranteeing the coordination of all actors involved. And to promote, in particular, the role of voluntary tutors, provided for by the Zampa Law, and of social tutors after they come of age."

Capitani went on to say that the organization is asking Europe "to push Member States towards structured policies and to allocate more funds for integration."


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