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News Item

Deplorable conditions in receptions centres and police violence: still a daily reality for many migrants

Poor conditions in overcrowded receptions centres and violence against migrants are some of the main concerns the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) identifies in its latest migration quarterly report. An increase in arrivals of asylum seekers in Cyprus, Greece and Spain leads to further delays in processing asylum applications.

The conditions in reception centres remain deplorable. Hotspots in Greece are completely overcrowded and living conditions there are dire.

A baby died in the Moria camp in Greece from dehydration, which only highlights how serious the situation is.

Cyprus saw a steep increase in arrivals, which led to poor reception conditions and significant delays in processing asylum applications.

The number of arrivals surged in Spain as well, causing the reception system on the Canary Islands to collapse.

Poor conditions also led to several riots in the Maltese reception centres.

Mayors of the five Greek islands most affected condemned a government announcement about setting up closed reception centres.

Many unaccompanied children have to stay in reception centres unsuitable for children or even at police stations.

As of 31 December 2019, there were over 5,300 unaccompanied children in Greece, many of them living in unsuitable conditions.

Facilities for unaccompanied children are lacking in the Italian hotspot in Lampedusa, so kids have to live together with adults.

The lack of protection puts children at high risk of social exclusion, and sexual and labour exploitation.

Police violence and pushbacks at the borders is an ever-growing problem as refugees continue to report violence and abuse.

It has been escalating especially at the Croatian border after the Croatian police shot migrants in two incidents.

At the same time, police in Greece, Hungary, Poland, Serbia and North Macedonia continue to refuse entry for asylum seekers.

The access to asylum remains very difficult in most EU countries. Lack of information, problems accessing legal help and long waiting times are problematic in Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Malta, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Many migrants, including children, are still placed in detention centres, sometimes under poor conditions.

A number of hate speech and hate crime incidents were reported in Germany, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain.

For legal and policy developments, the European Commission took next steps in the infringement procedure against Hungary on non-provision of food to migrants in the transit zones.

This latest migration quarterly report covers the period from 1 October until 31 December 2019.

FRA has been regularly collecting data on migration since September 2015.

Access previous 2019 migration quarterly reports >>