Greece slammed over conditions at migrant camps

Greece slammed over conditions at migrant camps

Thousands of migrants and refugees in Greece are living in “inhuman and degrading” conditions at the country's camps, the Council of Europe's Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) said in a report on Tuesday.

The report highlighted a “lack of doctors, medicines, food and drinking water in several camps along Turkey's land border, in Athens, and on the Aegean islands,” resulting in numerous health problems, including scabies from dirty blankets.

It was particularly scathing about the situation at a European Union-funded camp, or hot spot, in Fylakio on Greece's northeastern border with Turkey, where 95 migrants are said to be living in a single room.

The CPT recommended that occupancy levels be reduced drastically so as not to exceed an establishment’s capacity, that facilities be clean and repaired and that every detained person be provided with appropriate food, a mattress and clean bedding, and sufficient hygiene products.

It said that migrants and refugees are being detained for extended periods of time in “dirty” conditions at border patrol stations, while adding that it had received reports of abuse and violence from police at several camps, including the notorious Moria facility on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos.

Click here for the full CPT report and the government's response.

It also added that “hundreds” of unaccompanied minors are being housed in the same rooms and facilities as single men, putting them at risk of sexual violence, stressing that “immediate action” needs to be taken to ensure that vulnerable persons are transferred to suitable open reception facilities and that women and children are never detained together with unrelated men.

Regrettably, no decisive action has been taken by the Greek authorities to implement previous recommendations as regards the detention of migrant children. The Committee recommends that the Greek authorities fundamentally revise their policy for the detention of unaccompanied children both for reception and identification purposes and under 'protective custody',” the report says.

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