Studies, Reviews and Research

Emergency Within an Emergency: The growing epidemic of sexual exploitation and abuse of migrant children in Greece

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FBX Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard University

Based on data collected in four sites in Greece – Lesvos, Chios, Athens, and Thessaloniki – this study analyzes the risk factors responsible for the exposure of migrant and refugee children to physical, psychological, and sexual violence and exploitation. The following risk factors are highlighted:

  1. insufficient number of specialized facilities for children
  2. risky living conditions inside camps
  3. potentially hazardous and unsupervised commingling of migrant children with the adult migrant population
  4. weak and insufficiently resourced child protection systems
  5. lack of coordination and cooperation among responsible actors
  6. an inefficient and radically inadequate relocation scheme

The report also explores the context in which children are exposed to and become victims of physical, psychological, and sexual violence.

Moving forward, response gaps from both government and non-government actors are highlighted and a series of recommendations are provided that address the complexity of the current humanitarian emergency.

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