25/08/2019: Refucomm on unaccompanied child stabbed to death in Moria – UNHCR shocked

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25 August 2019

Στιγμιότυπο οθόνης (36)

It is small wonder that we are reading the very sad and unacceptable news that a child has died in Moria camp.

Greece has been condemned for years by human rights organisations and even the European Court of Human Rights for failing to protect these children and allowing them to live in an environment manifestly unsuitable for children.

Europe is also to blame, having found Greece legally responsible for their treatment of child refugees this year, and making a legal decision that Greece had breached Europe’s human rights convention forbidding inhuman or degrading treatment, their ‘consequence’ for the Greek authorities was a paltry 4000 euros to be paid to the kids.


Human rights organisations continued to report the horrendous conditions for children in these so called ‘safe spaces’ and still, nothing is done.

In the most recent report, from just a few days ago, our friends at Refugee Rights Europe evidenced the terrible conditions for child refugees in Moria camp.


“As of July 2019, the UNHCR reports a worrying 433 unaccompanied children living in the Moria RIC. A persistent issue reported by multiple rights groups is the practice of placing unaccompanied children in so-called ‘protective custody. ARSIS, a national child protection and advocacy organisation, reports on this issue as follows: In practice unaccompanied minors are put in protective custody in police stations and police detention facilities, spending up to two, and in some cases three months, in order to be placed in an appropriate shelter. For 2017, our professionals supported a total number of 353 minors in protective custody in the area of Thessaloniki only, while for 2018 this number reached 725 minors. Currently for this year we have supported 185 minors in those conditions. Hygiene conditions are extremely poor and the minors sleep in uncleaned beds and bedlinen, they are not provided with any non-food or clothing item, nor nutrition to live up to their development needs. There is no translator available by the police to explain to them basic procedures, and access to medical services is also periodic.”

These conditions were recently found by the European Court of Human Rights to be against Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”


“During 2018, HumanRights360 observed that detention of UASCs was systematically imposed and was prolonged for periods ranging from a few days to more than two months, pending their transfer to an accommodation facility. UASCs and other vulnerable persons were detained in both police stations and the RIC of Fylakio in so-called “protective custody” in unacceptable detention conditions.63 In a large number of cases, including UASCs and other vulnerable persons, there are allegations of informal forcible removals (push-backs) from Greece to Turkey at the Evros river border.”

“The situation is particularly serious in Moria on Lesvos where children spend on average five months in the hotspot before they can move to the mainland. There is an acute lack of available care, particularly mental healthcare, coupled with pervasive substance abuse amongst children, who are often experiencing severe trauma. As reported by multiple organisations, the police do not appear to have sufficient (if any) safeguarding training for the care of vulnerable children and young people, nor is there availability of translators. One organisation reported an alarming incident in which a child reported to the police that he had been sexually assaulted. In response, the police apparently went to the section where the children are housed and shouted “who raped this boy”, whilst pointing to the individual who had reported the crime.”

“An anonymous organisation describes the conditions for UASCs in Moria as such: “The overall situation for unaccompanied minors is alarming. The living conditions in the shelters are substandard and supervision is minimal and not 24/7 (supervision even differs for the two children sections as they are coordinated by different organisations; a child in the one section may for example take a guardian to see a doctor until 11pm, whereas a child in the other section depends on the time a guardian works or decides to show up). There is a huge shortage of capable caregivers (supervisors) for children. Up to mid- afternoon only two coordinators and two nurses (although this is on paper, the nurses of the sections often do not work on the times they should be working) are present for more than 300 children. Furthermore, only one psychologist is available. After the public officials leave, the police are the only point of contact for the children. Their presence causes fear among the traumatized youth. Many officers deal tactlessly and with disinterest with the youngsters. They do not speak their language and have no experience in dealing with trauma. We even see abuse of power.“

Amnesty called Moria “A scar on the Conscience of Europe’ in this report.


Small wonder then that this has now resulted in the death of one, the serious condition of another and a child who will live with the consequences, for the rest of his life. Consequences, which undoubtably arise from the conditions these children live in and the lack of care they receive. Especially mental healthcare.

We call on Greece to act. To immediately ensure that the death of this child is a catalyst to improve conditions for child refugees.

The Greek government must end the detention of children in all circumstances. Children must be provided with adequate accommodation, separate from adults, care and support at all stages of the asylum process in line with the best interests of the child, national and international law, including the immediate application of an effective guardianship system of unaccompanied children.

We call on Europe to act and recognise their responsibility in ensuring. We insist that the EU and the EC, as architects of this terrible containment policy on the Greek Islands, take responsibility and put pressure on Greece to ensure that the human rights of children are respected and upheld.

This child must not be allowed to have died in vain.


If you would like to help to persuade Europe and Greece to make a change. Please copy and paste the text in this post and email it to;

The Prime Minister for Greece – Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Dimitris Avramopoulos
Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship

Simon Mordue – Deputy Director General of the European Commission

The Greek Ombudsman

Council of Europe
Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights

Melissa Fleming – Chief Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Amnesty International

UNHCR shocked at death of Afghan boy on Lesvos; urges transfer of unaccompanied children to safe shelters

25 August 2019

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply saddened by news that a 15-year-old Afghan boy was killed and two other teenage boys injured after a fight broke out last night at the Moria reception centre on the Greek island of Lesvos. Despite the prompt actions by authorities and medical personnel, the boy was pronounced dead at Vostaneio Hospital in Mytilene, the main port town on Lesvos. The two other boys were admitted at the hospital where one required life-saving surgery. A fourth teenager, also from Afghanistan, was arrested by police in connection with the violence.

The safe area at the Moria Reception and Identification Centre, RIC, hosts nearly 70 unaccompanied children, but more than 500 other boys and girls are staying in various parts of the overcrowded facility without a guardian and exposed to exploitation and abuse. Some of them are accommodated with unknown adults.

“I was shocked to hear about the boy’s death,” said UNHCR Representative in Greece, Philippe Leclerc. “Moria is not the place for children who are alone and have faced profound trauma from events at home and the hardship of their flight. They need special care in designated shelters. The Greek government must take urgent measures to ensure that these children are transferred to a safe place and to end the overcrowding we see on Lesvos and other islands,” he said, adding that “UNHCR stands ready to support by all means necessary”.

Frustration and tensions can easily boil over in Moria RIC which now hosts over 8,500 refugees and migrants – four times its capacity. Access to services such as health and psychological support are limited while security is woefully insufficient for the number of people. Unaccompanied children especially can face unsafe conditions for months while waiting for an authorized transfer to appropriate shelter. Their prolonged stay in such difficult conditions further affects their psychology and well-being.

Nearly 2,000 refugees and migrants arrived by sea to Greece between 12 and 18 August, bringing the number of entries this year to 21,947. Some 22,700 people, including nearly 1,000 unaccompanied and separated children, are now staying on the Greek Aegean islands, the highest number in three years.

For further information, please contact:

Boris Cheshirkov, Associate Comm/Public Information Officer, +306951854661, e-mail: cheshirk@unhcr.org

Stella Nanou, Assistant Comm/Public Information Officer, +306944586037, e-mail: nanou@unhcr.org

Websites:   http://www.unhcr.gr | http://www.withrefugees.org | estia.unhcr.gr/en/home/   

Σοκαρισμένη η Ύπατη Αρμοστεία από το θάνατο ενός αγοριού από το Αφγανιστάν στη Λέσβο: καλεί για την επείγουσα μεταφορά των ασυνόδευτων παιδιών σε ασφαλή καταλύματα

25 Αυγούστου 2019

Στο Κέντρο Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης στη Μόρια της Λέσβου στεγάζονται περισσότεροι από 8.500 πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες – τέσσερις φορές πάνω από τη χωρητικότητα του κέντρου.

Η Ύπατη Αρμοστεία του ΟΗΕ για τους Πρόσφυγες (Υ.Α.) εκφράζει τη βαθιά της θλίψη για την είδηση ότι ένα 15χρονο αγόρι σκοτώθηκε και άλλοι δύο έφηβοι τραυματίστηκαν έπειτα από καυγά που ξέσπασε χτες το βράδυ στο κέντρο υποδοχής στη Μόρια της Λέσβου. Παρά τις άμεσες ενέργειες των αρχών και του ιατρικού προσωπικού, ο θάνατος του αγοριού ανακοινώθηκε στο Βοστάνειο Νοσοκομείο της Μυτιλήνης, όπου εισήχθησαν και τα άλλα δύο αγόρια. Το ένα υποβλήθηκε σε εγχείρηση λόγω της σοβαρότητας της κατάστασής του. Ένας τέταρτος έφηβος, επίσης από το Αφγανιστάν, συνελήφθη από την αστυνομία για το βίαιο περιστατικό.

Στην ασφαλή ζώνη του Κέντρου Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης (ΚΥΤ) στη Μόρια φιλοξενούνται σχεδόν 70 ασυνόδευτα παιδιά, αλλά περισσότερα από 500 ακόμα αγόρια και κορίτσια διαμένουν σε διάφορα σημεία της υπερπλήρους δομής, χωρίς επίτροπο και εκτεθειμένα σε εκμετάλλευση και κακομεταχείριση. Κάποια από αυτά στεγάζονται μαζί με άγνωστους προς αυτά ενήλικες.

«Με σοκ άκουσα την είδηση του θανάτου του αγοριού», δήλωσε ο Αντιπρόσωπος της Υ.Α. στην Ελλάδα, Philippe Leclerc. «Η Μόρια δεν είναι μέρος για παιδιά που είναι μόνα τους και που έχουν υποστεί βαθιά τραύματα από όσα έχουν ζήσει στις πατρίδες τους και από τις κακουχίες του ταξιδιού τους. Χρειάζονται ειδική φροντίδα σε κατάλληλους ξενώνες. Η ελληνική κυβέρνηση πρέπει να λάβει επείγοντα μέτρα, ώστε τα παιδιά αυτά να μεταφερθούν σε ασφαλές περιβάλλον και να δοθεί ένα τέλος στον υπερσυνωστισμό που βλέπουμε στη Λέσβο και τα άλλα νησιά», δήλωσε ενώ πρόσθεσε ότι «η Ύπατη Αρμοστεία είναι έτοιμη να προσφέρει οποιαδήποτε στήριξη είναι απαραίτητη».

Η αγανάκτηση και οι εντάσεις μπορούν εύκολα να ξεσπάσουν στο ΚΥΤ της Μόριας, όπου αυτή τη σιτγμή στεγάζονται περισσότεροι από 8.500 πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες – τέσσερις φορές πάνω από τη χωρητικότητα του κέντρου. Η πρόσβαση σε υπηρεσίες, όπως η ιατρική και ψυχολογική υποστήριξη, είναι περιορισμένη ενώ η παροχή ασφάλειας είναι άκρως ανεπαρκής για τέτοιον αριθμό ανθρώπων. Ιδιαίτερα οι ασυνόδευτοι ανήλικοι μπορεί να είναι αντιμέτωποι με επισφαλείς συνθήκες για μήνες καθώς περιμένουν να εγκριθεί η μεταφορά τους σε κατάλληλο κατάλυμα. Η παρατεταμένη παραμονή τους σε τέτοιες δυσχερείς συνθήκες επηρεάζει περαιτέρω την ψυχολογία και την ευημερία τους.

Σχεδόν 2.000 πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες έφτασαν μέσω θαλάσσης στην Ελλάδα από τις 12 έως τις 18 Αυγούστου, ανεβάζοντας τον αριθμό των θαλάσσιων αφίξεων φέτος στις 21.947. Περίπου 22.700 άνθρωποι, μεταξύ των οποίων σχεδόν 1.000 ασυνόδευτα και χωρισμένα από τις οικογένειές τους παιδιά, βρίσκονται αυτή τη στιγμή στα νησιά του Αιγαίου, ο υψηλότερος αριθμός των τελευταίων τριών ετών.

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