REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, UNITED NATIONS -- Some 75,000 refugees and migrants in European transit countries are suffering psychosocially, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned Thursday.
"Nearly 75,000 refugees and migrants, including an estimated 24,600 children, currently stranded in Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Western Balkans, are at risk of psychosocial distress caused by living in a protracted state of limbo," UNICEF said.
The situation is particularly acute for single mothers and children stuck in Greece or the Balkans waiting for reunification with family members in other EU countries, according to UNICEF.
However, other family members are being held up in transit countries where they must apply for family reunification as a result of an EU-Turkey agreement in 2016 and border closures in some European countries.
The deal intended to stop the flow of refugees and other migrants into Europe. The process of reunification application typically takes between 10 months and two years.
In many cases, according to the UN, adult males are the first family members to make the trip to Europe, with the rest of the family following later.
But with the 2016 border closures and implementation of the EU-Turkey statement, other family members are being held up in transit countries from where they must apply for family reunification, a process that typically takes between 10 months and two years, UNICEF said.