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UN rights expert urges Greece to protect migrants

UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Francois Crepeau [official profile] on Monday urged [press release] Greece and the EU to increase their efforts to ensure that the rights of all migrants are fully respected as they travel through Greece to other EU destinations. Crepeau said that a large number of migrants are stuck in Greece with little possibility of returning home and little chance of economic and social assimilation due to the country's current financial crisis and employment issues. The Special Rapporteur criticized systemic violence and discrimination against migrants and urged law enforcement to take a greater interest in investigating such conduct. He also expressed concern about Greece's new policy of detaining all irregular migrants found entering the country.

Recently, many human rights groups and organizations have taken issue with Greece's laws and policies governing the treatment of migrants. In July Human Rights Watch [advocacy website] released a report entitled "Hate on the Streets: Xenophobic Violence in Greece," documenting instances of abuse and discrimination [JURIST report] against migrants who traveled Greece seeking refuge from war-torn homelands. In the same month, Amnesty International [advocacy website] openly criticized [JURIST report] Greek authorities and law enforcement for a "pattern of abuses" against demonstrators and administrative detainees, including migrants.

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