EU Member States Must Protect Children Displaced in Moria Camp Fire

September 11, 2020

Washington, DC—Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) today voiced deep concern about the displacement of more than 12,500 people, including over 4,000 children—of which more than 400 are unaccompanied— as a result of the disastrous fire at the Moria Reception and Identification Center on the Greek island of Lesvos.

KIND’s President Wendy Young commended Greece for moving 406 unaccompanied children to the mainland and called on the EU to provide immediate protection for children displaced by the fire. She issued the following statement:

“While KIND appreciates that 406 unaccompanied children reportedly have been sent to the Greek mainland, we urge their relocation to EU member states and their access to refugee protection and permanency. Children with their families must also be relocated to safety.

“It is incredibly fortunate that there have been no reports of casualties, but no one—particularly not children alone—should have been forced to live in the squalid and clearly life-threatening conditions in the camp in the first place. EU member states, with support from the EU Commission, should act swiftly to protect all the displaced.

“The Moria fire demonstrates the clear failure of migration policies based on deterrence and containment. KIND urges officials to use this tragic development as a springboard for policies that focus on refugee protection and burden sharing, which can be done safely and successfully.”


KIND also signed onto a letter led by Refugee Rights Europe calling for the relocation of children from Greece, read the letter here. 


Media Contact: Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990