Tens of thousands of refugee children in Europe are at risk of psychosocial distress that will affect them for years to come due to living in a protracted state of limbo, UNICEF has warned.
Youngsters who have fled from Syria and other war zones are being “set back for years to come” due to the emotional distress and anxiety caused by the uncertainty surrounding the family reunification process, which can see them waiting in temporary camps for months or even years.
Nearly 75,000 refugees and migrants, including an estimated 24,600 children, are currently stranded in Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary and the western Balkans. Despite having a legitimate right to join families in destination countries in western Europe, most do not know whether or when they will be permitted to move forward.