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Greece: Guidance note for reporting missing refugee and migrant children in Greece

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Greece: Guidance note for reporting missing refugee and migrant children in Greece

26 May 2020
UN High Commissioner for Refugees

25 May 2020 – International Missing Children’s Day

• The disappearance of a child must be reported immediately to the competent authority. When a child goes missing, any person who is aware of the case must report the incident of the child’s disappearance without delay at the nearest police station at any time, day or night. In all cases, the submission of the photo of the child is necessary for the investigation when reporting the disappearance; the photo of the child should be recent, if possible (most preferably taken within the last 6 months). A copy of the International Protection Applicant’s card should also be submitted by the reporting person, if available.

• Any information provided to the competent authority for the child is useful and helpful. The reporting person should, where possible, provide information on name of the guardian of the child and provide all possible information relevant to the disappearance of the child, including but not limited to, the following:

  • i) basic characteristics of the child: physical appearance: hair color, eye color, height, weight, etc.; ii) specific characteristics: clothes he/she was last seen wearing, if the child wears glasses, has a tattoo, birth mark, etc.;
  • family environment: the family history of the child, if he/she has relatives in Greece, if he/she is in contact with relatives abroad and if he/she has recently contacted them;

  • where and at what time he/she was seen for the last time;

  • information on possible location/place of disappearance;

  • information on the reasons of disappearance;

  • with whom he/she has been regularly in contact;

  • information related to his/her friends;

  • any previous incident of disappearance: if he/she has gone missing in the past or if he/she has expressed the desire to leave the care arrangement or location;

  • if he/ she faces health issues (physical and/or mental health) and if he/she is using medication (what type of medication and what consequences it has for the child);

  • spoken languages: if he/she speaks, apart from their native language, also Greek and/or any other language;

  • if he/she has an account in social media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, etc.);

  • if he/she has a mobile phone, money, travel documents and/or any other things with him/her.
    The child protection actors providing shelter to the unaccompanied children are requested, with the approval of the competent Public Prosecutor, to keep in their archives recent photos of the hosted children.

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