Human Rights Watch (HRW) has criticized Greek authorities for mishandling the registration and housing of unaccompanied refugees under the age of 18 on Lesvos.
According to a statement released on Wednesday by HRW, which spoke to 20 refugee children on the eastern Aegean island, unaccompanied minors as young as 15 have been wrongly registered as adults.
HRW also found that officials sometimes arbitrarily record children’s ages as older than what they themselves provide. Some children, moreover, have falsely claimed to be adults after being told by smugglers that it would lead to a better outcome.
“The misidentification of unaccompanied migrant kids on Lesvos as adults leads to real problems, including lumping them together with unrelated adults and denying them the care they need,” said HRW’s Eva Cosse.
Greek authorities formally registered over 1,800 unaccompanied asylum-seeking and migrant children arriving in Greece in the first five months of 2017.