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Finland taking in 11 underage asylum seekers from fire-devastated Greek camp

The children are being transferred under an earlier decision to accept 175 asylum seekers from facilities the Mediterranean region.

Morian leiriltä lähteneitä turvapaikanhakijoita Lesboksella aikaisin perjantaiaamuna.
Asylum seekers from the Moria camp on Lesbos early Friday morning. Image: Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP

The Ministry of the Interior in Helsinki announced Friday that Finland will be taking in 11 unaccompanied minors from the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which was swept by fire on Wednesday this week.

This past spring, the Finnish government decided to accept 175 vulnerable asylum seekers, including children, from refugee facilities the Mediterranean region. This latest group of 11 minors is part of the implementation of that policy decision.

Several fires broke out on Wednesday at the Moria camp on Lesbos. The overcrowded camp houses around 13,000 asylum seekers.

According to Finland's Interior Ministry, Greece has relocated more than 400 unaccompanied minors from the island to the Greek mainland. The children transferred to Finland are part of this group.

"The fire at the Moria camp is a shocking event in what were already difficult circumstances. In Finland, the government decided in February to support the Mediterranean countries. So far, 72 unaccompanied minor applicants have been transferred from Greece to Finland," Minister of the Interior Maria Ohisalo (Green) stated in a press release.

"Our actions have already concretely helped Greece and vulnerable applicants. By receiving these 11 minors, we will continue to provide support and implement the government’s decision," she added.

The date of the transfer has not yet been announced.

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