The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) on Sunday called on Greece's government to urgently transfer migrant youths to safe areas after a fatal brawl at the Moria migrant camp on the island of Lesbos. "The Greek government must take urgent measures to ensure that these children are transferred to a safe place," UNHCR representative in Greece Philippe Leclerc said in a statement.
Leclerc said he was shocked to hear that a 15-year-old Afghan boy had fatally stabbed a compatriot and injured two others at the Moria camp. The two injured boys were admitted to hospital, where one required life-saving surgery. A fourth teenager, also from Afghanistan, was arrested by police in connection with the violence, the UNHCR said.
Human rights groups and local authorities have long criticized Greece for the poor conditions in the country's biggest migrant camp, Moria, operating at almost three times its capacity. Some 600 minors are currently staying in the camp, which is designed to house up to 160, according to the Athens News Agency (ANA). At present, thousands of migrants and refugees spend months in Moria and other overcrowded island camps before their applications can be processed. About 9,000 migrants and refugees are holed up in the camp, a collection of tents and shipping containers in a former military base, according to government data released in 2018. Rights groups have warned that the long wait, often without access to information, is harmful to the migrants whose life-threatening journey to Greece and uncertain future has already left many in a fragile mental state.
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