Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Greece is failing to protect unaccompanied refugee children on the Greek island of Lesbos, warning that Athens is registering lots of lone minors as adults.
The New York-based rights group made the announcements in a Wednesday report, adding that by misidentifying the refugee children as adults, Greek authorities were practically leaving the minors vulnerable to abuse, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking.
It further said that the incorrect identifications would leave them incapable of accessing the specific services they require.
“The misidentification of unaccompanied migrant kids on Lesbos as adults leads to real problems, including lumping them together with unrelated adults and denying them the care they need,” Eva Cosse, the Greece researcher at HRW, said in the report.
She added that Greek authorities were required to make sure that they were “properly indentifying” lone refugee minors and to provide them with the protection and care that “every child needs.”
Over 60,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from war-torn Iraq and Syria and impoverished nations like Afghanistan and Pakistan, are bottlenecked in the southern European country as its northern neighbors, including Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, and Bulgaria, have sealed their borders with Greece.