Germany will accept between 1,000 to 1,500 children and teenagers from overcrowded refugee camps in Greece despite previous studies that have shown many “child migrants” are in fact adults.
According to the German Press Agency (DPA), the German government made the decision on Monday. Thus, some children who are ill or unaccompanied and less than 14 years old, will probably be able to leave the Greek migration centers.
At the European level, there is currently a debate on establishing a coalition of countries willing to admit children from the overcrowded refugee camps in Greece.
“Within this framework, Germany is ready to accept its fair share,” the government coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU and CSU) along with Social Democrats (SPD) said after a multi-hour crisis session that ended after midnight on Sunday.
Last September, Greece called on the EU Member States to take on unaccompanied child migrants who live in poor conditions in refugee camps.
There have been concerns in the past that migrants have lied about their age in order to facilitate entry into Europe. For example, an incredible 84 percent of “child migrants” who were tested by Swedish government were actually adults aged 18 or older, according to a report from the BBC.
Many migrants arrive in camps without any documentation about their identity, allowing them to obscure their age and country of origin.
A number of German politicians have voiced concern over accepting migrants, including within the CDU.
The CDU’s executive director, Michael Grosse-Brömer, criticized previous calls for Germany to admit 5,000 child refugees, saying, “If we admit 5,000, an additional 50,000 will make their way. Don’t raise false hopes!”
The German government has also discussed the situation in the Syrian province of Idlib, which is struggling with the conflict between President Bashar Assad’s regime and Turkey-supported rebels.
Berlin decided to earmark €125 million for urgent humanitarian aid in the region.