Children being ‘sexually assaulted’ at Greek refugee camps

The Telegraph — Children stranded by the refugee crisis and living in official European refugee camps in Greece have been subjected to sexual assault, it has been alleged.

The Observer reports that some of the victims are as young as seven.

Citing charities and human rights groups it is alleged that some camps are so unsafe that children are afraid to go out at night.

In the Softex camp, a facility run by the Greek government in a former toilet roll factory on the fringes of Thessaloniki,  women were reported to be fearful of using the lavatories alone during the hours of darkness.

One volunteer at the camp, which holds 1,400 Syrian refugees, a volunteer alleged that young girls were being groomed by mail gangs.

One Iraqi family had to be moved to alternative accommodation following an attack on their daughter.

Anna Chiara Nava of Médecins Sans Frontières in Thessaloniki, said it had heard allegations of children being  the victims of sexual violence.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it had raised its concerns with the Greek authorities.

“We’ve raised the issue of security again and again. This is a problem; it’s under discussion,” a spokesman said.

Giorgos Kyritsis, the Greek government’s refugee co-ordinator, said: “Softex is the camp with the most cases of small criminal behaviour but there was not any case of rape reported to the camp’s staff.”