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04 July 2020 – Greece

Global Detention Project,
Global Detention Project, "Immigration Detention in Greece - 2019 Update," September 2019,

Despite repeated criticisms of its continued lockdown of refugee and migrant camps (see 18 June update), Greece recently announced its fifth extension of these lockdown measures. As of 4 July, camps are to be quarantined until 19 July, with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers continuing to face movement restrictions. According to the country’s migration ministry, those held in these facilities are only permitted to leave between 7am and 9pm in groups of less than 10 persons, and no more than 150 persons are allowed to exit each hour.

Activists and NGOs have reiterated their criticism that these lock-down measures have nothing to do with public health concerns given that no confirmed cases of the virus have yet been detected within these settings. Moreover, instead of protecting those inside these facilities, the continued lockdown appears to be placing them at greater risk of harm. As Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees reported, in Moria camp reports of sexual harassment, domestic violence, and rape have risen during the lockdown period. According to the Centre for Research on Women’s Issues (CRWI) Diotima, a women’s NGO, the inhumane living conditions and current legislation have “created suffocating conditions for these people, and particularly for persons who are in need of special protection, who find themselves further exposed. When you don’t have money and you don’t have a house, but you do have some kind of vulnerability, then you will become an almost certain victim of [further] exploitation and abuse.”