A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) has looked at the migration crisis in Greece one year after the EU-Turkey deal cut the flow to a tiny fraction of what it had been.
HRW said that the deal was supposedly aimed at bringing order to the chaos created by the crisis by providing food, shelter and health care to refugees and migrants.
Moreover, the deal was directed at better identifying all those arriving in Greece seeking asylum or international protection, and those who do not qualify for asylum or protection.
However, HRW says, “the deal has been an unmitigated disaster for the very people it is supposed to protect.”
Rather than help asylum seekers, HRW said that the deal introduced “a containment policy” that has resulted in “unnecessary suffering, and despair” caused by:
- Overcrowded ‘hotspots’ on the islands that function as detention centres for asylum seekers who are not allowed to leave for the mainland.
- Mismanagement of aid funds, with even EU officials admitting 70 percent of refugee funds for Greece have been wasted;
- The slow pace of asylum claims processing that helps create overcrowding, frequent confrontations with police, unsanitary conditions and inadequate shelter.
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