Greece urged to improve migrant reception, integration


Greece must urgently adopt long-term measures to improve the reception and integration of migrants, as well as to contain the negative effect of austerity measures on access to their health care and education, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic said Tuesday.

Mijatovic was speaking as a report was released on her visit to Greece in June.

The commissioner said that despite efforts made by the authorities as well as the people to welcome migrants, reception conditions remain well below acceptable standards – particularly on the Aegean islands.

“The authorities have to urgently address the poor hygiene conditions, the psychological distress and the uncertainty that are threatening the health of migrants and asylum seekers on the islands,” said Mijatovic, while calling on Greek officials to step up transfers to the mainland.

Mijatovic also expressed her concern about the poor shelter conditions and the lack of social support for unaccompanied children.

“Greece’s authorities should tackle this problem with more resolve and in particular immediately stop the detention of unaccompanied migrant children. Migrant children should also have access to inclusive education, so as to increase their chances of integration,” she said.

The commissioner also urged European Union countries to shoulder more of the burden.

“Greece’s European partners should demonstrate their solidarity by supporting Greece in its efforts to improve reception conditions,” she said.

You can download the full report below.