09. September 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Conditions for Greece’s migrant children shocking, says Human Rights Watch“ · Kategorien: Griechenland · Tags: ,

Quelle: The Guardian

They are being made to live in filthy, bug-and-vermin-infested cells, sometimes without mattresses or access to showers, claims report

Alarming numbers of migrant children in Greece are being detained in deplorable and depraved conditions , Human Rights Watch says.

Unaccompanied minors – some as young as 14 – are being held in substandard and chaotic detention centres across the country in flagrant violation of international and Greek law, the group said in a report on Friday.

“Children are being detained for weeks and months, and are being made to live in filthy, bug-and-vermin-infested cells, sometimes without mattresses or access to showers,” said Rebecca Riddell, who authored the report.

Speaking from New York, Riddell told the Guardian the 27-page investigation – entitled “Why are you keeping me here?”– documented indisputably that children were being held for prolonged periods in places where they had little access to basic care and services.

“The conditions are really shocking and often worse in police stations than detention centres,” said Riddell, a Europe fellow at Human Rights Watch. The report, she added, was based on visits to police stations and detentions centres on the mainland and 42 interviews with children who were or had been detained.

“This isn’t a new problem but it is being made much worse by significant migration to Greece and callous inaction by EU countries … We’re talking about kids who are all alone and who fled their countries, often to escape violence.”

Counselling, information and legal aid were virtually non-existent along with psychological care or even access to interpreters.

Greek police detained 161 unaccompanied children in the first six months of 2016, according to official data. Authorities have long argued that alternatives to detention, in the form of child-friendly shelters, simply do not exist, although private philanthropic organisations are working around the clock to fill the gap.

More than 3,300 unaccompanied asylum-seeking and other migrant children were registered by local authorities between January and July this year. Under the weight of the numbers, and with the overburdened shelter system full to brimming, Greek police say they are necessarily compelled to place children in so-called protective custody until suitable accommodation is found.

But in its excoriating indictment of the situation, Human Rights Watch said the children were often incarcerated for much longer than the 25-day period that Greek law permitted, pending transfer to a shelter, as a measure of last resort.

“Greece should end the unjustified detention of unaccompanied children and ensure they have suitable accommodation,” said Riddell. “The EU should not only support those efforts but accommodate the transfer of unaccompanied children from Greece to other EU countries through relocation and family reunification.”

In a visit to Greece two weeks ago, the UN High Commisioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, spoke openly of the risk migrant children now faced.

“Unaccompanied minors are extremely exposed to exploitation of many kinds and in particular sexual exploitation,” he said in Athens. “There is a lot of survival sex that is happening, there is sexual harassment and sexual abuse. I think that this is something we cannot tolerate, in particular in the European Union.”

Beitrag teilen

Kommentare geschlossen.