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More needs to be done to improve the situation of migrants and refugees on the Greek islands

The humanitarian situation of asylum seekers in the Reception and Identification Centres on Lesbos, Samos and Chios have remained critical for many years, the Committee on Migration warned. Many are housed in tents with inadequate sanitary installations, insufficient food, lacking health services and poor security.

Following the proposals by the rapporteur, Petra de Sutter (Belgium, SOC), the Committee stated that the Greek authorities should “rapidly improve the housing, sanitary and security situations inside the overcrowded Reception and Identification Centres of Lesbos, Samos and Chios”. The authorities should also revise the practice under which transfers to mainland Greece require vulnerability or a serious medical condition of the asylum applicant, duly identify and register all migrants arriving by boat on Greek islands and ensure that unaccompanied minors and women are particularly protected against violence.

According to the Committee, The Turkish authorities should increase their efforts to ensure that human traffickers and smugglers “cannot act with impunity when moving migrants to Greece”, while the European Union should assist Greece in accommodating asylum seekers and refugees as well as managing external EU borders and reintroduce financing programmes of humanitarian projects operated by NGOs, “which allow for more decentralised projects closer to the persons in need”.