Greece has often been denounced for the “inhumane and degrading” conditions of migrant camps, and the latest report by the European Committee’s Prevention of Torture (CPT) is as damning as the ones before.
The report highlights “a lack of doctors, adequate medicine, food and drinking water in several camps”.
It states that many migrants, including unaccompanied minors, pregnant women and mothers with small children crammed into squalid conditions in Greek camps. The living areas are overcrowded with 1 to 1.5 square metres of space per person.
Immigrants complained that hygiene left a lot to be desired and that they were frequently pushed, kicked and mistreated. The doctor noted that they had injuries that underpinned the allegations though Greek government officials denied that this was the case.
The report followed a visit by an EU delegation of experts from the Council of Europe that included a doctor. They visited several first-reception and deportation facilities in the Evros border region with Turkey, as well as others on Aegean islands and in Athens.
The report singled out Fylakio, a “hotspot” set up with the help of the EU for the identification and registration of refugees. This EU-funded camp on the border of Turkey is home to 95 migrants living in a single room.
The delegation found 319 migrants to be living there, many of them for a period of several weeks. The camp was very crowded and people were crammed into dormitories. Isaacio and Tychero, run by the Greek border police, were also in a squalid condition. The infamous deportation camp of Moria on the island of Lesvos was found to have dirty mattresses and blankets, sanitary facilities full of rubbish and clogged toilets. The lack of hygiene meant that many migrants suffered from scabies, itchy skin caused by tiny mites.
There was concern regarding unaccompanied minors often housed with single men and at risk of sexual violence.
The report recommends that immediate action be taken to “drastically reduce” occupancy levels at migrant facilities and to also ensure that immigrants are provided with adequate food, a mattress, clean beading and hygiene products.
CLICK HERE to read the full report.