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Humanitarian Problems Relating to Migration in the Turkish-Greek Border Region: The crucial role of civil society organisations

Published 1 March 2013 / By Max Schaub

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Drawing on a comprehensive analysis of migration-related humanitarian problems in the Turkish-Greek border region, this brief argues that civil society organisations (CSOs) have a key role to play in ameliorating the situation. Migrants and refugees clandestinely attempting to cross the Turkish-Greek border region suffer from a host of human rights violations. They are mistreated by smugglers, detained under intolerable conditions, and are at risk of being illegally pushed-back across the border to Turkey and deported. Since the actions of governments are at the core of the humanitarian problems, civil society organisations are virtually the only actors that can help to reduce the numbers of violations and to promote the humane treatment of migrants and refugees. However, the report shows that existing organisations in both Turkey and Greece are poorly positioned to take on such a role, as they lack staff and volunteers, access to funds and know-how. CSOs from regions that face fewer problems should thus support organisations active in the border region. CSOs should both assist and monitor state authorities. On the international level, local and international CSOs should continue to pressure European govern-ments to devise more constructive migration policies.


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