The Psychosocial and Legal Team operates as Network for Children’s Rights (“NCR”) in two interconnect pillars. Τhe first includes actions in the “field” related to the day-to-day and in practice protection and support of unaccompanied children and their rights. From April 2021 CPU operates under the National Emergency Response Mechanism for unaccompanied minors in precarious living conditions (“National Mechanism”) which is part of the Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
The CPU is staffed by social workers, lawyers, psychologists and cultural mediators who provide immediate support and take all the necessary actions for the protection of unaccompanied children living in precarious living conditions or homeless. All the professionals are properly trained in child protection. Always the aim is the best interests of the child and the creation of the right conditions for the children to grow up healthy and happy, their opinion to be taken into account and their rights to be respected.
The second pillar includes advocacy, information, awareness, and mobilization activities for children themselves and the public.
During the operation within the National Mechanism, the identification is done through the Info Desk service and mainly through the referral of unaccompanied children by the National Mechanism. Professionals come in daily contact with homeless unaccompanied minors who need immediate psychosocial and legal support. These are children who are particularly vulnerable and it is necessary to be supported based on a holistic approach.
The social workers and the psychologists identify and evaluate the needs of each child as well as their immediate support, in the shortest possible time, in collaboration with the Mechanism in order to find the best possible solution in combination with the information to the competent Prosecutor’s Office. Lawyers undertake the legal counseling of unaccompanied children who are identified and work together with social workers to investigate the possibility of taking care of unaccompanied children by adults’ relatives who wish, through an order of the Athens Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office.
The Mobile Unit within the National Mechanism undertakes the escort of unaccompanied children in order to identify them, where and when it is requested and to conduct medical examinations, if required, as well as the transfer of children to emergency accommodation structures.
The programme “Child Protection Case Management for Refugee Children” is co-funded by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).
For the CPU actions from the year 2016 until today, see here.
CPU – Psychosocial and Legal Support
Tel: +30 2108846590