Almost 14,000 stranded migrants have returned home from Greece
Photo credit: Economy Watch
TMP – 12/10/2017
Nearly 14,000 refugees and migrants stranded in Greece have returned to their home countries so far this year. The returnees, most of them from North African countries, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, were brought back home with assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Greek police confirmed the latest returnee figures, saying the migrants were sent back dwith between 500 and 1,500 euros in financial assistance.
Around 60,000 migrants are reportedly still stranded in Greece after the Balkan countries closed their borders in early 2016. Most live in migrant camps in conditions that have been sharply criticized by several NGOs.
Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) latest report specified “overcrowding” as one of the biggest problems facing migrant camps on the Greek islands, adding that most of the camps are struggling to accommodate a sizeable population that is more than twice their capacity.
HRW representatives conducted a nine-day visit to the camps in September this year and noted that many of the camp’s residents are forced to live in tents, with just a few blankets that serve as a mattress and cushion. They also highlighted that women are particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment, and that there are no showering facilities for residents with mobility problems.