The Greek people’s and authorities’ humanitarian treatment and welcoming of migrants and refugees the last few years “is admirable,” visiting Council of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovic said in a press conference on Friday, but not enough.
Mijatovic called on the Greek government to accelerate the registration process that will identify vulnerable individuals, including victims of sexual or gender violence, physical impairments and especially mental health issues due to prolonged living under negative circumstances in hotspots.
The CoE envoy also expressed concern for the living conditions of 3,500 unaccompanied minors already registered, and praised the governments recent law on foster care. She encouraged Greek authorities to use models of semi-independent living used by nonprofits like METAdrasi, where she said she met some of the beneficiaries.
In terms of the general Greek population, a number of human rights have been adversely affected by austerity measures in health and education, which in combination with cutbacks in wages and pensions have prevented access to health services, she said.
The general coverage introduced in 2016 went a way towards helping improve the situation, but during a visit to the Metropolitan Social Infirmary in Elliniko she noted a number of patients who did not have access to the right services, Mijatovic said, and called on the government to improve medical access for all.