Clandestino: Smuggled into Europe { 8 images } Created 15 Aug 2011

Every day hundreds of people attempt to enter the European Union illegally, around 80% of whom choose to cross in the Evros region of Greece in the first six months of 2011. 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 and enter what is seen as Europe's weak spot in border control.

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.
Bone and muscle samples are taken for DNA records, which are held on a central database in Athens.

After DNA tests samples have been completed, unidentified bodies are buried in a mass grave near the village of Sidiro, 25km from the border with Turkey. The graves are unmarked, unnumbered, and in a remote hillside location not sign posted from the main road.
A Muslim cleric, Mufti Sherife Damadoglou from the Turkish minority in Greece has taken responsibility for the burial of the bodies in a traditional Islamic manner.

Frontex, the European Union's border agency has been assisting the Greek border police in the Evros region since October 2010. Current figures for the first six months of the year show a 247% increase in the number of arrests of illegal migrants (source - Alexandroupoli police) in the southern part of the border alone.

A Europe-wide reform in the migration system, and the act of forced deportations is needed in order to assist Greece with the current situation. The Greek government also needs much more help in bolstering it's border in the Evros region.
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