Greek Migrant Camps Becoming ‘No-Go Areas’ for Children and Women at Night

Children play by their families' tents at the overcrowded Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos on December 10, 2017. On the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros where there are over 15,000 refugees and migrants, camps are filled to triple their capacity, forcing many to sleep …

A new report from the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, has claimed that conditions in the Greek island migrant camps have become incredibly dangerous for women and children who face the threat of sexual violence.

The UNHCR has demanded more action from the Greek government to protect women and children in the camps as they claim that even during the day some women have experience sex attacks while bathing, Deutsche Welle reports.

The organisation’s spokesman Cecile Pouilly described the conditions for women and children at the camps on the islands of Lesbos and Samos saying: “In these two centres, bathrooms and latrines are no-go zones after dark for women or children.”

“Even bathing during daytime can be dangerous. In Moria, one woman told our teams that she had not taken a shower in two months from fear, ” she added.

Pouilly added that many of the victims were also afraid to come forward indicating that the number of sex assaults could potentially be a lot higher than reported.

The UNHCR has blamed the overcrowding in the camps for the prevalence of violence. Many of the island camps have been over capacity for over a year, leading to pro-migrant activists demanding the Greek government allow migrants to travel to the Greek mainland.

Some of those who are on the mainland have demanded that they should be allowed to travel to western Europe. Last year a group of protestors held a demonstration outside the German embassy demanding that German Chancellor Angela Merkel allow them to enter Germany chanting “Mama Merkel open the doors!”

While the European Union migrant deal with Turkey largely stemmed the flow of migrants which led to the 2015 migrant crisis, the numbers have not halted entirely. As recently as November, it was revealed that the number of migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece had increased 200 per cent over the same period in 2016.

 Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at) 


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