Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in a speech to the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Council – which this year focused on the protection of children – stressed that Greece has saved the lives of thousands of refugees and migrants and has shouldered a disproportionately large share of the burden of the crisis.
He noted that Greece -at the outer borders of the European Union – has for years been on the frontline of the crisis and that collective action is needed based on an equitable distribution of the responsibility in handling an enormous global problem.
“Greece continues to face the largest migrant and refugee flows since WWII,” he declared.
Noting measures that the Greek government has taken he referred to the relocation of refugees and migrants from the five Aegean islands were they arrive and are concentrated – Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, and Leros – to the mainland.
He also spoke of new legislation which regulates international protection (asylum)
Speaking to the theme of the conference, Dendias outlined the government’s regulative framework and programme – entitled “No child alone” – for addressing the needs of unaccompanied child migrants.
Greece – which has a population of only 11 million – is among the top four EU countries in terms of the number of asylum applications per capita the foreign minister said.