YAHOO NEWS -NINA LARSON
Asylum seekers in Greece suffer widespread sexual violence and harassment in the country’s sub-standard, overcrowded reception centres, the UN said on Friday.
In 2017, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) received reports from 622 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence on the Greek islands, around one third of whom said they had been assaulted after arriving in Greece.
But UNHCR spokesman Cecile Pouilly said that there is a reluctance to report such violence out of fear, shame and concerns about discrimination, retaliation and stigma.
“The actual number of incidents is therefore likely to be much higher than reported,” she told reporters in Geneva, acknowledging that the UN has only a “very partial picture of what the reality is.”
Pouilly said the situation was most worrying in the reception and identification centres of Moira on Lesbos, and Vathy on Samos, “where thousands of refugees continue to stay in unsuitable shelter with inadequate security.”
These centres are currently holding around 5,500 people — double their capacity, she added.