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They're desperate… They leave their villages, their families, their traditions, their home, everything, arriving somewhere in Greece and feeling non welcome…there. Their living conditions are alarming because they live outside in the open air, in forests, under burnt trees, without clothes, soap and clean water… They sleep on the ground; many people together, over one hundred, sometimes in abandoned houses or hospitals, without electricity in such deplorable conditions. They can not go back. They have not any money. They have lost themselves. Greece is the first country on the way to Europe from Africa, Middle East and other Asian countries such as Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and every immigrant, who enters the EU has to apply for asylum in the first country that he enters… The chances of being granted asylum in Greece are close to zero… Hundreds of asylum seekers wait all night for a chance to apply for asylum at the Petrou Ralli police station in Athens. In a large scale crackdown between June and August 2009, the Greek authorities arrested hundreds of immigrants across the country evicting them from run-down dwelling in Athens, bulldozing a makeshift refugee camp in Patras, and detaining new arrivals on the islands. Many of those people were unaccompanied children On July 12, 2009 the Greek police destroyed the refugee camp in Patras. It used to house 1500 immigrants and asylum seekers. Authorities followed-up with a series of sweeps and arrests across the country. International law forbids the forcible return of people to the places, where the came from as it is most likely that they are threatened there by war zones and political persecutions, there… Children, who arrive without a parent or a caregiver, end up in a daily struggle for survival, as well as the adult people.


A homeless undocumented Afghan immigrant photographed near the place, where he sleeps on a pedestrian tunnel in central Athens, Greece. Many immigrants live in an abandoned hospital in a town near Athens.

Many people from Somalia, Afghan, Iraq are detained in the ports of the Greek islands in Aegean Sea, after being arrested by the Greek Coast Guard. They are unable to flee to other countries, unable to be recognised as refugees and unable to return home. In the best case, some of them are released and wait to board a ferry in order to sail to a big city towards northern Greece, or to reach Athens. Many of them are undocumented and unaccompanied children or young women, seeking jobs as domestic workers, legally or illegally, hoping for a better future.

Refugees in Greece  

Comenius project Greek contribution

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