Minister Says Croatia Prepared to Take in Unaccompanied Children Migrants

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, March 9, 2020 – Croatia is prepared to adapt to the crisis situation and accept unaccompanied children migrants who are identified to be without their parents on its territory, Demography and Social Policy Minister Vesna Bedeković said on Monday.

“The social welfare system in Croatia has a developed service to accept unaccompanied children who are found on Croatian territory. Croatia is prepared to adapt to the crisis situation and challenges and accept unaccompanied children who are found in the country without their parents,” Bedeković told reporters.

She believes that this is primarily a humanitarian issue as it concerns children as the most vulnerable group.

The Demography and Social Policy Ministry cooperates with the Interior Ministry with regard to unaccompanied children found on Croatia’s territory, who are taken to a social welfare centre and placed in an appropriate institution. After that, an individual plan is made according to the assessed needs of the child to provide it with the most adequate care.

There have been about 50 cases to date and these were mostly children in transit, Bedeković said, underscoring that Croatia has the professionals to handle these situations but that currently there is a shortage of interpreters.

She said that Croatia has had a protocol since 2018 regarding the treatment of unaccompanied children and that it currently has two reception centres with adequate capacity, in Zagreb and Split.

“We have the necessary personnel, and everything else that will be needed will be secured. In that regard, we also expect funding from the EU,” she said.

The most important thing is to ensure fast and better interdepartmental cooperation so that Croatia can adapt to any possible quotas it will be assigned, the minister said, adding that she did not have information yet on the number of children Croatia would possibly accept.

“I stress that this is not about foster care or adoption but about provision of accommodation for children in crisis situations. This is primarily a humanitarian issue, a response to a crisis situation, and provision of accommodation to children without parental care,” said Bedeković.

More news about the migrant crisis can be found in the Politics section.


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