Amnesty International Condemns Living Conditions in Migrant Camps in Greece

Amnesty International has condemned the living conditions of one thousand refugees and migrants camping at former Athens airport at Elliniko.

According to the organization, women and underage girls are at a constant risk of sexual and verbal abuse, making it all the more necessary to ensure that adequate alternative housing is provided by the Greek authorities.

The majority of people living in the camps are from Afghanistan and have been sleeping for more than a year, in conditions of very poor hygiene, with an insufficient number of toilets, showers and limited privacy, Amnesty International complains.

Furthermore, residents of the Elliniko camp complain of rats and cockroaches. At the same time, volunteers and NGO workers report that many asylum seekers face serious mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and suicide attempts.

Amnesty International also points out that there is insufficient control over who is going in and out of the camps, claiming that police do not intervene when there are violent incidents in the camp. The fact that most toilets and showers do not lock and most people live in tents, makes it unsafe for women and underage females.

Many women told Amnesty International that they are living with constant fear of sexual assault in their tents, in the toilets or showers, and some said they are afraid to leave their tents, not even to go to the bathroom, out of fear of sexual harassment.

Also, asylum seekers are anxious about their time of stay in the particular camps since they are temporary. Some told Amnesty International that they are stressed because they don’t know when they are to leave the camps and where will they go from there.