Death of a 15-year-old boy in Greek reception centre after failure to implement protection measures

Following the killing of an Afghan boy in the Moria reception center in Greece, the ICJ calls on the Greek authorities to effectively implement measures of protection prescribed to Greece this May by the European Committee on Social Rights.

According to information by the UN High Commissioner for refugees, the 15-year-old Afghan boy was killed and two other boys injured after a fight broke out at the Moria reception centre on the Greek island of Lesvos.

The safe area at the Moria Reception and Identification Centre, RIC, hosts nearly 70 unaccompanied children, but more than 500 other boys and girls are staying in various parts of the overcrowded facility without a guardian and exposed to exploitation and abuse.

“This is not a situation unique to Moria. In other parts of Greek islands and also on mainland Greece human rights of migrant children are being violated,” said Karolína Babická, ICJ Legal Adviser.

Security of children as well as access to basic needs, such as appropriate shelter, food water or medical care, were the focus of a recent case the ICJ brought together with ECRE and Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) to the European Committee on Social Rights (ECSR).

The ECSR acknowledged the urgency of the situation and decided on immediate measures in the case already on 23 May 2019.

“It is unacceptable that the decision on interim measures has not yet been implemented by the Greek government and now we have to witness such tragic events like a death of a child in the camp,” said Karolína Babická.

“It is a sad wake-up call to the Greek administration that the situation cannot remain like this,” she added.

In its decision, the Committee members required the Greek government to immediately provide migrant children with appropriate shelter, food, water, education and medical care; to remove unaccompanied migrant children from detention and from Reception and Identification Centers (RICs) at the borders, place them in suitable accommodation for their age and appoint effective guardians.

“Greece must urgently bring those children to safety and make sure their basic needs are met and human rights are protected, in order to comply with its international legal obligations,” said Róisín Pillay, ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme Director.


Karolína Babická, Legal Adviser, ICJ Europe and Central Asia Programme, m +32 475 46 2067 ; e: Karolina.Babicka(a)


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