Preventing Abuse and Sexual Exploitation of Child Migrants in Greece

By Susan Lloyd McGarry

From Australia to Venezuela, from Azerbajian to Vietnam, and many places in between, more than 60 news outlets and websites in at least 15 countries and 10 languages have published information about the recent Harvard FXB report Emergency Within An Emergency: The Growing Epidemic of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Migrant Children in Greece. Excerpts and links from some of that coverage is below. Our greatest hope, though, is that the report will spur action, and to that end, we have encapsulated its recommendations in the graphic above. No graphic can capture the details of the report, so we do hope that you turn to those pages.

An encouraging development has been the degree of interest in the topic from Greek news media. Primary researcher and co-author Dr. Vasileia Digidiki has talked with Greek radio, television, and newspapers, including Skai News, “Τώρα” (a live current events television show), Kathimerini, and Ethnos.

The news articles we have linked to here have been chosen because they add another layer to the conversation through further research, additional interviews, or additional media. Much of the coverage grew from an article in The Guardian by Diane Taylor on April 18, in which she quoted the report’s authors, Dr. Vasileia Digidiki and Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, respectively:

It is our responsibility as human beings to face this emergency head on and take immediate action at every level to put an end to this most heinous violation of dignity and human rights.”  ….

“This report documents a shocking and pervasive aspect of the current refugee crisis: the exposure of very young children to sexual exploitation as a survival strategy.” Read more

From Deutsche Welle by Anthee Carassava:

The bus stop on the west end of Pedion tou Areos, a sprawling park in the heart of the Greek capital, usually serves locals and tourists bound for the beach.

But now, well into the throes of Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War II, the dilapidated steel-and-glass stop has turned into the latest pick-up point for young refugee children feeding a burgeoning sex trade experts are calling an ‘epidemic.'” Read more

The Young Turks, the progressive US-based news show, created a seven-and-a-half-minute video segment based on the report and The Guardian article. It has received more than 77, 000 views.
Watch here.

The Barcelona-based magazine PlayGround produced a short article in Spanish with an accompanying video, which has been shared almost 15,000 times.
Read and watch here.

Along with a short film, the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health featured the report in a recent 18-minute podcast, which they have also transcribed.
Listen or read.

And finally from the Harvard Gazette, by Al Powell:

Closed borders, unsafe holding camps, and increasing desperation have created an “emergency within an emergency” concerning child sexual abuse and exploitation among migrants who are stalled in Greece, according to a new report by Harvard’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights (FXB Center).

The report released last week describes abuses in the crowded, makeshift holding camps, unstaffed at night and with inadequate lighting, where lone men and those associated with criminal gangs prey on children left unattended.”
Read more

Again to read the entire report, go here.

Or the original announcement of the report’s release.

Susan Lloyd McGarry is a senior writer at Harvard FXB.

The photo at the center of the graphic is of the report cover; it is courtesy of Clément Martz all rights reserved.