Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors

The Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors was established with paragraph 3 of the first article of the Presidential Degree 18/2020, operates according to Articles 35 and 42 of the Law 4622/2019 and falls within the competences of the Deputy Minister of Migration and Asylum

Its mission is to plan, implement and supervise the National Strategy in Greece for the protection of unaccompanied minors. The Special Secretariat also initiates and implements all necessary policies and required actions to ensure the protection and well-being of third-country nationals and stateless individuals who are unaccompanied minors or separated from their families. More specifically, the Special Secretariat initiates and implements policies in each of the following key areas:

Management of accommodation and relocation requests for unaccompanied minors:

    • It coordinates the referral, accompaniment, and integration procedures of minors into accommodation facilities.
    • It manages the requests for accommodation and especially the process of finding accommodation positions suitable for the needs of each minor.
    • It initiates, registers and implements quality standards for procedures with regards to unaccompanied minors in Greece.
    • It coordinates all necessary actions for the implementation of initiatives and programs for the reception and hosting of unaccompanied minors in Greece, in the context of international treaties and other joint international initiatives, such as the voluntary relocation program.

Conduct and evaluation of hosting facilities and supervised apartments for minors. In relation to this area, it has the following responsibilities:

  • It defines quality standards of operation for hosting facilities and supervised apartments. It also monitors the implementation of quality standards and conducts on-site inspections in collaboration with state and other organizations.
  • It develops and implements tools and methods to evaluate the quality of service provided to minors in the context of their accommodation.
  • It designs and implements interventions to improve the quality of service provided to minors. It also supports service providers and staff in their roles.
  • It maintains the register of hosting centers and supervised apartments for unaccompanied minors.

Support with regards to social integration of unaccompanied minors:

  • It plans, implements and evaluates programs and actions in collaboration with government and private organization to ensure and facilitate the integration of unaccompanied minors in Greek society.
  • It identifies and applies efficient solutions with regards to finding family members of unaccompanied minors, as well as procedures for family reunification, voluntary return to their home countries and relocation to other countries. To this end, it collaborates with competent authorities, international organizations and certified organizations in Greece.
  • It designs and implements campaigns in order to raise awareness for the issue of unaccompanied minors in Greece and highlights the importance of the protection of unaccompanied minors.
  • It collaborates with other competent services with regards to actions for reception, integration and protection of unaccompanied minors.

Safeguard of the institutional protection of unaccompanied minors. In relation to this key area: 

  • It coordinates the action plans and services of government and private organizations with regards to key focus areas such as accommodation, health, education and employment.
  • It designs the legislation context, instructions, procedures and practical processes that relate to identify areas of improvement and develop further the existing context of intuitional protection of unaccompanied minors.
  • It proposes legislative and administrative measures that assist in the implementation of the National Strategy for unaccompanied minors.
  • It proposes deliberations for issues that pertain to the protection, social integration and the protection of the well-being of unaccompanied minors.
  • It collaborates with local and central government authorities for the implementation of the objectives of the National Strategy for unaccompanied minors.

National Emergency Response Mechanism

National Emergency Response Mechanism includes a hotline that assists in identifying and locating children in need (0030- 2132128888 και 0030- 6942773030, via WhatsApp ή Viber) that is available in 6 languanges, and in the following days and hours.

Monday - Friday 08:00 - 22:00

Saturday 11:00 - 19:00

The Helpline and the Mobile Units in the field:

  • Ensure that children are never exposed to the dangers of abuse or exploitation in the streets.
  • Assist in finding and protecting unaccompanied minors that are homeless or in other precarious living conditions.
  • Provide urgent accommodation.
  • Facilitate immediate registration with the local authorities.
  • Provide psychological, legal, and medical support and interpretation.
  • Conduct the "Best interest assessement."

The Special Secretariat is the competent authority for all issues that pertain to unaccompanied minors in Greece. It is also the national point of contact for competent institutions of the European Union. It collaborates with members of the European Union, third-countries, organizations and services within the European Union as well as international organizations with regards to initiatives, measures and programs that contribute to the effective protection of unaccompanied minors. For instance, it collaborates with thirteen other European Union members-countries within the context of the program of voluntary relocation of unaccompanied Minors. It also participates in accommodation programs for unaccompanied minors that are supported by Denmark, Holland and Norway.

Hercule Moskof is the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors since January 2022.

Heracles Moskof

Heracles Moskof studied Sociology and Social Anthropology in London and received a PhD from the London School of Economics, in Sociology with a focus on political culture of contemporary Greece. He has served as the Expert Ambassador Consultant for issues of Human Security and Migration Policy for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 2013, with the implementation of the relative Directive of EU for the composition of the national coordinative mechanism of tackling human trafficking, he was appointed head of the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings. In this role, Dr Moskof was responsible for implementing the National Referral Mechanism for the protection of victims of human trafficking, of the National Action Plan 2018-2022, as well as the ‘Actions for tackling Human Trafficking’ of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the framework of the Business Program ‘Reformation of Public Sector 2014-2020’ of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).

Hercules Moskof has represented Greece in the National Coordinators' Committee of the EU, of the United Nations, of the Council of Europe, and of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

  •  He has been elected member of the Drafting Committee of the Council of Europe against Human Trafficking with the purpose of labor exploitation.
  •  He has planned and implemented co-operation memorandums with international organizations, such as the International Organization for Migration and UNICEF, with social associates such as Manpower Employment Organization (OAED), as well as with partners of the local self-governing, such as Regions of Attica and Thessaly.
  •  He has served as a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the National Council against Racism and Bigotry and in the National Committee for Human Rights.
  •  He has coordinated in collaboration with the respective Presidency the monthly assignments of the parliamentary committee against Trafficking & Exploitation of Human Beings and presided the Committee of the Ministry of Justice for the protection of Human Trafficking victims.
  •  He was appointed by the U.S. State Department as the national representative of Greece in the program "Young Leaders."

Dr Moskof has also worked as a Teaching Instructor in the Civilisation & Media Department of Panteion University and has taught in the English-speaking Master’s degree of the National Kapodistrian University of Athens "MSc in Media & Refugee/Migration flows." His studies have been published, among others, in the OSCE, the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), the Maragopoulou Foundation, etc.

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