EU Court Rules Greece Must Pay Mistreated Young Refugees

FILE - Τhe refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos. (Photo by ND's Press Office/Dimitris Papamitsos via Eurokinissi)

With Greece awash with waves of refugees and migrants, the European Court of Human Rights ordered the payment of 4,000 euros ($4,550) to nine teenagers – six Syrians, two Iraqis, and a Moroccan – who arrived in the country in early 2016.

Media reports said the ECHR found they were held for between three and five weeks in police or border-guard stations before being transferred to migration authorities and that the detention centers in which they were kept were unsuitable, especially for children.

The court, however, rejected a claim by the migrants that the reception center to which they were eventually sent was overcrowded and unsanitary although human rights groups have complained many of them are, with Greece housing more than 70,000 refugees and migrants, including more than 15,000 on islands near Turkey.

The court said the influx of migrants to Greece at that time was an “unprecedented migratory and humanitarian crisis” and that the reception center had been created on an emergency basis but with activists continuing to complain the facilities are inhumane.