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Greece: Refugees with Disabilities Overlooked, Underserved

Identify People with Disabilities; Ensure Access to Services

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants with disabilities are not properly identified and do not enjoy equal access to services in reception centers in Greece, Human Rights Watch said today. Together with thousands of other migrants and asylum seekers they remain unprotected from freezing temperatures.

The European Union has provided significant funding to the Greek government, and to United Nations and nongovernmental agencies, to operate the centers on the Greek eastern Aegean islands known as “hotspots” and camps on the mainland.  But asylum seekers and other migrants with disabilities have particular difficulties getting basic services such as shelter, sanitation and medical care, and like other vulnerable migrants have limited access to mental health care. For example, one older woman who uses a wheelchair had not been able to take a shower for a month.

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