850 Refugees to Depart from Lesbos Headed for Mainland Greece

ATHENS — Approximately 850 refugees with free-movement permits are departing Lesvos on Monday night for the port of Lavrion, in Attica, onboard the ferry 'Nissos Chios'.

They will then be transferred to accommodation facilities in mainland Greece, awaiting relocation to European countries through Greece's agreements with several EU member states.

This latest departure of refugees from Lesvos brings the total number of those remaining on the island to below 10,000 and those at the new refugee camp at Kara Tepe at below 8,000.

Another 720 refugees left Lesvos on the same ferry last Monday, as the Migration & Asylum Ministry's effort to decongest the island continues, while some 300 last were transferred on regular ferries Tuesday and Wednesday with the help of the UN High Commission for Refugees.

Over the last weeks, Greek authorities have moved more than 1,000 asylum-seekers from eastern Aegean islands to the mainland as part of efforts to improve conditions in overcrowded island camps. Most of the people on a ferry that docked Tuesday at Lavrio, near Athens, were from a temporary facility hastily built on the island of Lesbos to replace a squalid camp that angry residents burned down last month. 



Despite being unable to prevent smugglers in Turkey from sending refugees and migrants to Greek islands and the northern land border along the Evros River, Greece has made significant progress in dealing with human trafficking, according to a report by the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA).

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