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A Summary of Assessment Findings and Recommendations: The Situation of Refugee and Migrant Women, Greece 2016

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Overview

Since the EU-Turkey Agreement came into effect in March of 2016, over 60,000 refugees and migrants remain stranded in Greece. Over half of refugees and migrants entering Greece between January and June of 2016 were women and children, with women comprising 22% of the total number of new arrivals.' Many of these women are pregnant, have infants or young children, are heads of households, or are single women traveling on their own to reunite with family members in other countries.

Inadequate protection and promotion of women's health, safety, and rights has been a concerning feature of the crisis, reflected in both the current conditions of closed facilities and open temporary reception structures (sites) in Greece as well as in the insufficient access to long-term protection options. In many of the sites, the level of security and service provision falls short of meeting international minimum standards.

This leaves women exposed to gender-based violence, including domestic violence, sexual assault and exploitation, and trafficking and lacking adequate access to sexual and reproductive health care. Women have limited access to legal protection and there are urgent concerns about the particular obstacles women face in navigating the asylum process due to low literacy, language barriers, inability to access legal information, and their care responsibilities that reduce both their time and mobility. The absence of a clear and sufficiently-resourced and staffed legal protection system compounds the challenges women face, especially in cases of family reunification.