Can't stay, Can't go: Migration, Greece { 40 images } Created 14 Oct 2010

Can't stay, can't go.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has described the situation for migrants and refugees in Greece as "a humanitarian crisis", and according to Human Rights Watch (HRW) the country is said to process and recognise less than one percent of asylum cases claimed.

Since claiming asylum is near impossible migrants use Greece as a transit country onto north western Europe. Every day upto two-hundred people attempt to enter the European Union illegally, 80% of whom choose to cross in the Evros region of eastern Greece in recent years. Dehydration, exhaustion, freezing temperatures and drowning claim the lives of many trying to enter Greece, and Europe illegally. Individuals come from Africa, Asia, and even South America in an attempt to try to enter what is seen as Europe's weak spot in border control.

Whilst it's still relatively easy to enter Greece from Turkey illegally, it's getting ever tougher for migrants to leave the country.
This series of images was taken in and around Evros, the point of entry for many, and Patras, the port serving Italy where most migrants attempt to escape Greece. Trapped without aid or medical assistance, migrants and refugees attempt to smuggle themselves out of the country on lorries and ferries.

Hundreds that attempt this journey don't make it alive, and die trying to make a better life for themselves in the EU.
Bodies are often found by farmers and fishermen months after death and in an advanced state of decomposition, or partially eaten by animals.
Salvageable bone and muscle samples are taken for DNA records, which are held on a central database in Athens.

Greece won't recognise asylum claims and let migrants stay, but it also won't let them go onto somewhere that will.
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