Migrant shelters to come under state control


More than two dozen shelters hosting asylum seekers on the Greek mainland will come under the administrative control of the Migration and Asylum Ministry as part of the effort to improve the operation of these facilities, many of which are currently operating under the authority of international organizations or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

The decision, which concerns 28 shelters and was announced on Wednesday, was a joint one by Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis and Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis.

Meanwhile, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Tuesday, the Greek government is being urged by rights groups to “immediately reduce congestion at the islands' reception and identification centers (RICs) for asylum seekers and migrants to avert a public health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic."

HRW said 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations are citing the fact that thousands of people, including members of vulnerable groups, are trapped during a pandemic in dangerously overcrowded, deplorable conditions on the islands.