Sexual harassment reports arise from Greek refugee camps

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Reports of sexual harassment and violence on asylum seekers have been arising from refugee reception centres on Greek islands.

The United Nations refugee agency has said that it got complaints from 180 women last year. Inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment and attempted sexual attacks were the most common forms of such violence.

“The situation is particularly worrying in the Reception and Identification Centres (RIC) of Moria (Lesvos) and Vathy (Samos), where thousands of refugees continue to stay in an unsuitable shelter with inadequate security,” said UNHCR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly.

“In these two centres, bathrooms and latrines are no-go zones after dark for women or children, unless they are accompanied. Even bathing during daytime can be dangerous. In Moria, one woman told our teams that she had not taken a shower in two months from fear,” she added.

The overcrowded Moria and Vathy islands have some 5,500 people.

Pouilly said that better lighting, increased security, as well as separate washing and living quarters for men and women.

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