Ten European cities have pledged shelter to unaccompanied migrant children living in desperate conditions on Greek island camps or near the Turkish border.
Amsterdam, Barcelona and Leipzig are among the cities that have written to European Union leaders, saying they are ready to offer a home to vulnerable children to ease what they call a rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis in Greece.
“We can provide these children with what they now so urgently need: to get out of there, to have a home, to be safe, to have access to medical care and to be looked after by dedicated people,” the letter states.
But the cities can only make good on their pledge if national governments agree. Seven of the 10 local government signatories to the letter are in countries that have not volunteered to take in children under a relocation effort launched by the European commission in March.
Rutger Groot Wassink, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor for social affairs, said it was disappointing the Dutch government had declined to join the EU relocation scheme. He believes Dutch cities could house 500 children, with “30-35, maybe 40 children” being brought to Amsterdam