80 unaccompanied minors from Ukraine registered in Belgium amid candidate guardians shortage

In Belgium, since the invasion started, it has been three weeks. Eighty unaccompanied minors from Ukraine have already been reported amidst a lack of candidate guardians.

Over three million citizens from Ukraine has already escaped the war-torn nation, and around 6,000 Ukrainian refugees have been noticed in Belgium, including 80 unaccompanied minors.

The majority of the children are in the company of family members who are not their parents or enter with acquaintances, but these are not the legal representatives, which means these young ones and the individuals are given the status of unaccompanied minors.

Along with this, two of the minors has reached alone.

Basically, they are immediately assigned guardians, but due to the lack, only the eight most vulnerable cases, such as teenage mothers, minors with medical problems or very young children, have been assigned a guardian.

Furthermore, the guardians do not physically take care of the minors but instead provide legal as well as social guidance, including finding lawyers, opening bank accounts and managing financial resources.

The lack of a guardian is not a recent issue that has been caused by the influx of Ukrainian minors but is a chronic problem that has been lasting for years which the government is working to resolve.

Furthermore, Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne mentioned, “At the end of 2021, the Guardianship Service launched another recruitment campaign to boost their numbers. In the process, 98 new volunteers were selected. 60 French-speaking candidates are currently following basic training. The Dutch speakers have already started.”

The candidate guardians do not require a specific diploma, and they only have to live in Belgium and have to fulfil the requirements mentioned on the Guardianship website.

Various politicians, including the socialist Vooruit party MP Ben Segers, have highlighted the importance of not letting minors disappear under the radar and are worried about their safety, as they are currently increasing the risk of sexual violence and abuse.

Segers further mentioned, “Extreme vigilance is required by cities and municipalities when registering Ukrainian minors. We see a wave of solidarity blowing through our country to welcome people or support them financially or materially. The Guardianship Service must be able to ride this wave.”

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