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    Stranded Syrian refugees carry their children through a snow storm at a refugee camp north of Athens, Greece January 10, 2017.

    'Greece Has Become Testing Ground' for Policies Eroding Protection of Refugees

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    Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe (161)
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    The current policies make seeking international protection in Europe a “mission impossible,” according to a joint report by three NGOs.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A deal between the European Union and Turkey aimed at stopping irregular migration to Europe turned Greece into “a laboratory” for EU policies, which are “eroding” the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said in a joint report published on Friday.

    “Greece has become a testing ground for policies that are eroding international protection standards,” Oxfam, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) said, marking the first anniversary of the deal.

    According to the report, 13,000 of asylum seekers remain trapped on the Greek islands despite the capacity to accommodate 9,000 or less.

    “Over the course of the year, there have been deaths; suicide attempts; people engaging in self harm; and children, women, and men exposed to abuse and sexual violence,” the report read.

    The current policies make seeking international protection in Europe a “mission impossible,” according to the report. In Greece, the European Union’s use of admissibility checks prevents asylum seekers from seeking refugee status in the bloc, which leads to people waiting 12 months without access to appropriate accommodation and services.

    The NGOs therefore warned against replicating the same migration deal model elsewhere and called on the European Union to adopt policies that would correspond to the democratic values that it has successfully upheld for the past 60 years.

    Topic:
    Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe (161)

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    refugees, Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council, Turkey, Greece
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