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Oxfam slams EU for abandoning vulnerable refugees in Greece

Refugeees wait at the Greek island of Lesbos to get permission and transport to reach Athens
Refugeees wait at the Greek island of Lesbos to get permission and transport to reach Athens

Oxfam has condemned the European Union for the “inhumane conditions” under which hundreds of migrants, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women and disabled persons, live in on the Greek islands.

It is irresponsible and reckless to fail to recognise the most vulnerable people and respond to their needs. Our partners have met mothers with newborn babies sleeping in tents, and teenagers wrongly registered as adults being locked up. Surely identifying and providing for the needs of such people is the most basic duty of the Greek government and its European partners

the report quoted Renata Rendon, Oxfam’s Head of Mission in Greece, as saying.

Oxfam explained that under “Greek and EU law, the legal definition of vulnerability specifically includes unaccompanied children, pregnant women or with young babies, people with disabilities and survivors of torture,” and they therefore should have access to the normal Greek asylum process instead of a fast-tracked process designed to send them back to Turkey.

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The organisation said that Greece should not be left to deal with refugee-related challenges on its own, calling for a more equitable distribution of asylum seekers to EU countries.

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, who is in Greece, said the European Commission is trying to help Athens deal with the situation and has allocated more than €289 million ($331 million) to that end.

“The situation in the Greek islands is very difficult,” he said, adding that “the Greek government is committed to doing everything it can.”

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Europe & RussiaGreeceInternational OrganisationsNewsOxfam
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