In 2018 Ireland committed to receiving 36 separated children seeking international protection (unaccompanied minors) from Greece under the European Union Relief Projects.
In June 2020, eight separated children arrived. Their arrival had been delayed by the additional challenges presented for travel by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the fires in the Moria refugee camp in September 2020, and as part of the EU humanitarian response and Ministerial commitment, Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, worked to accelerate the intake of the remaining 28 separated children from Greece and agreed also to the relocation of an additional infant.
In Budget 2021, an additional €5m was provided to Tusla to provide dedicated services to expedite the intake of these separated children in Greece to whom Ireland had a commitment and I can confirm that as of 15th November 2021, 37 separated children have arrived in Ireland from Greece.
Tusla receives separated children seeking asylum into care via two routes: those who have been relocated under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme and those who present independently at ports and other points of entry to Ireland. The majority of unaccompanied children arriving in Ireland are over 15 years and need significant educational, language and, in many instances, therapeutic supports.
In 2020, Tusla received 80 referrals for Separated Children Seeking International Protection and of that number 51 children were received into the care of Tusla.