Children’s Hunger Strike in Greece

Thursday, August 27, 2009
Children at Pagani Detention Centre (photo: Noborder Camp Lesvos 2009)

For the second year in a row, migrant children left to survive on their own in Greece have gone on a hunger strike to protest their imprisonment on a Greek island where conditions have been described as “abominable” by one European human rights body. About 150 migrant children held in a detention center on Lesvos Island refused to eat for four days last week because of overcrowded and dirty conditions. In 2008, approximately 100 parentless migrant children held on another island, Leros, went on a hunger strike for the same reasons. In response to the earlier protest, the Greek government made additional accommodations available to the children.

Most of the children, aged 12 to 17, are from Afghanistan, although some come from other war-scarred zones, such as Somalia and Iraq.
“That children as young as 12 were again on hunger strike in Greek detention is a gross indictment of the government’s failure to care for them,” said Simone Troller, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Greece keeps jailing these children, but still has no system or even a plan in place to house them and cover their basic needs.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Left to Survive (Human Rights Watch)
Hunger Strike at Pagani Detention Centre (Noborder Camp Lesvos 2009)


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