Tuesday 6 December 2016

Tusla heads to Greece to help identify children who can be offered shelter in Ireland

Ian Begley

Published 07/11/2016 | 06:08

Tulsa heads to Syria to help children Stock Image: PA
Tulsa heads to Syria to help children Stock Image: PA

Officials from the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, will travel to Greece today to help identify children who can be offered shelter and support in Ireland.

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According to children’s Minister Dr Katherine Zappone, the three-day mission will continue the process of identifying lone children who wish to come to Ireland to re-start their lives.

"While my Department and Tusla does respond to the needs of an average of 100-lone-children who arrive in Ireland each year – I am deeply concerned about the plight of those left languishing in camps both in the hot-spots of the Mediterranean and as we recently saw in Calais,” she said.

“The conditions they are being forced to endure are atrocious and have been condemned not just by frontline agencies but also by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.”

The Minister added that officials from Tulsa are continuing their efforts to take 20-unaccompanied children and to explore how many children are interested in re-locating in Ireland.

“I have asked Tusla to review capacity to speed up the pace and increase the numbers coming to our communities.”

In addition to this initiative, Minister Zappone said she is working with colleagues in Government in the wake of the clearing of the jungle camp in Calais to see what assistance and support they can provide authorities in France.

“Tyrants, terrorists and traffickers have ruthlessly placed children in the frontline of this crisis with many paying with their lives – that is unacceptable and I share the determination of many that Ireland must continue to act.

“In the coming days, weeks and months I will continue working with Tusla and others to ensure we are in a position to reach out to children separated from their loved ones to offer safety, shelter and hope,” she said. Tul

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