Council of Europe Blasts Greece Over Conditions in Migrant Hot Spots



A report by a Council of Europe committee, has criticized Greece over the conditions prevailing in a number of temporary detention centers for migrants, and asylum seekers.

A report by European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) is particularly critical of the continued detention of unaccompanied children, and it says that the conditions of detention centers for adult migrants in Athens and Thessaloniki must be improved.

Greek authorities have responded to the report published on Monday by saying that Greece respects the human dignity of the migrants, and that it follows procedures that are in line with European and international standards.

A CPT delegation visited Greece in April and July 2016 to examine conditions at the so-called hot spots on the islands, Athens, and Thessaloniki, following the implementation of the EU-Turkey Agreement.

During the visits to the detention centres of Moria in Lesvos and BIAL in Chios, the delegation found overcrowding, high levels of violence, inadequate provision of basic health care, drinking water and food problems, inadequate assistance to vulnerable groups and poor legal support.

These problems, according to the report, create an extremely volatile and explosive situation.

The report highlights the “continued and regular” detention of hundreds of unaccompanied children for long periods in poor living conditions, and inadequate care.

In particular, it raises concerns about complaints it has received from unaccompanied children in Moria, and about ill-treatment and violence by police officers.

The report; although acknowledging the efforts of the Greek Authorities to improve accommodation, stresses that they should reconsider their approach to “protective detention” of unaccompanied children, and take the necessary steps to end it.


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