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Updated On: Monday, 23 July 2018
Development Issues

Refugees Sexual Violence

Content by: South-South News

12 February 2018, New York, USA | South-South News — The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) expressed concern about asylum-seekers suffering from sexual harassment and violence in sub-standard reception centres on the Greek islands.

UNHCR’s spokesperson Cecile Pouilly said to media representatives in Geneva today (9 Feb) that “in 2017, UNHCR received reports from 622 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) on the Greek islands, out of which at least 28 per cent experienced SGBV after arriving in Greece”.

Pouilly added that “the situation is most worrying in the Reception and Identification Centres (RIC) of Moria and Vathy on the islands of Lesvos and Samos, where thousands of refugees continue to stay in unsuitable shelter with inadequate security. Reports of sexual harassment in Moria are particularly high”.

Helping survivors is hampered by a reluctance to report assaults out of fear, shame, stigma and retaliation. UNHCR assumes that the actual number of incidents is likely to be much higher.

UNHCR’s spokesperson Pouilly said that “thanks to recent accelerated transfers to the mainland by the authorities overcrowding has slightly reduced over the past weeks. But these still crowded conditions hinder outreach and prevention activities. For example, in Moria, 30 government medical staff, psychologists and social workers share three rooms, where they have to conduct examinations and assessments in the absence of privacy”.

Storyline by: Unifeed

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