Record Number of Migrant Arrivals in Greece for September

Migrant arrivals in Greece for September have spiked, according to the latest data released by the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR).

On this month, 5,400 migrants and refugees passed through the Aegean Sea and from the land border with Turkey.

In total, in the first nine months of 2018 35,626 people reached Greece, compared to 23,783 in the same period in 2017.

The UNHCR says that some mainland camps are overcrowded while the situation is worse in islands’ reception centres, especially those of Samos and Lesvos.

The dire conditions can have serious consequences for asylum seekers’ health, safety and protection, especially for children and other vulnerable people.

Although it acknowledges that the Greek government has increased accommodation in the mainland and transferred more people from the islands “more is needed to ease overcrowding and improve conditions.”

‘One rape per week’ at Moria, Lesvos

Meanwhile, a report at American journal Newsweek claims that sexual assault has spiked in recent months at the Moria migrant and refugee processing center on the Greek island of Lesvos.

It quotes a Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) coordinator saying that the group alone has received reports of 21 cases of rape and sexual assault since May, with almost half the victims being girls and boys under the age of 18 and at least two being children aged as young as 5 years old.

“One case is not acceptable, let alone one a week. And I’m sure it’s happening a lot more frequently than that,” Dr Declan Barry told Newsweek.