Author: UNHCR | unhcr.org | 29 November 2019
Athens, Greece – UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi urged Greece to implement urgent measures to address severe overcrowding on the Greek Aegean islands and stressed the need for European solidarity, after a three-day visit to the island of Lesvos and to Athens.
At a press conference on Thursday to conclude his visit, the High Commissioner outlined four priority areas he had discussed with the Greek government.
Grandi called for the urgent improvement of living conditions; the tackling of overcrowding on the islands; ensuring an efficient and fair asylum process; and ensuring the protection of 5,000 unaccompanied children now in the country, most of them living in precarious conditions.
“This country needs to turn a page on how this [refugee] movement is handled,” said Grandi, noting that there is an opportunity for Greece to address the serious challenges it faces.