Undocumented immigrants in a detention center in Kyprinos, in the region of Evros, at the Greek-Turkish borders - Credit: Photo/Archive/EPA
Undocumented immigrants in a detention center in Kyprinos, in the region of Evros, at the Greek-Turkish borders - Credit: Photo/Archive/EPA

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has expressed "concern" for the situation of migrants who reach Evros, Greece, from Turkey. It has urged authorities to improve the condition of hosting facilities there.

UNHCR has urged the Greek government to "urgently" improve the living condition of migrants in Evros, Greece. The UN agency reported that there currently are "hundreds of people held by police in detention facilities."


According to the UN Refugee agency, a reported 2,900 people, mostly Syrian and Iraqi families, reached Evros in April. That is half of the total number of estimated arrivals throughout 2017. 

Dire situation as arrivals soar

The notable increase in new arrivals is proving difficult for the only facility identifying and hosting migrants in Evros, which is located in the border village of Fylakio. The center hosts many more that the 240 people it was built to accommodate, including unaccompanied minors, the agency said. 

The UNHCR said overcrowding as well as difficulties in registering and identifying migrants have led Greek authorities to accommodate people, including minors, in local detention facilities that are "completely inadequate" for asylum seekers. 

"Some people have remained in these structures for more than three months, in deplorable conditions and with limited services. Some families hosted in such facilities were sleeping on the floor next to a row of cells when UNHCR officials visited the structures," the UN agency said. 

'Unbearable' situation 

The UNHCR expressed "satisfaction" with the work carried out by the police and the center hosting and identifying migrants in Fylakio.

The UN agency, however, did make a number of recommendations. It suggested that  the facilities at the hosting center had to be urgently improved, that transit locations for people arriving in Evros had to be identified, that mobile hosting and identification units needed to be set up, that transfer families had to be transferred to safe places, that police facilities had to be improved, and that unaccompanied minors needed to by moved to safe housing.
 

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