Don't Forget Us: Voices of Young Refugees and Migrants in Greece

Girl in Greece walking near white tents

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Since 2015 over one million people fleeing war, poverty and natural disaster in the Middle East, South Asia and East and West Africa have made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean in the hope of finding peace and a dignified life in Europe, but with policy regulations, border closures and the introduction of the EU-Turkey deal on March 20, 2016, over 60,000 people are now stranded in Greece. Many refugees and migrants endure inadequate living conditions and face extremely slow asylum application procedures and a lack of reliable information about their futures.

Over 18,000 of the migrants and refugees stranded in Greece are adolescents and young people, between the ages of 15 and 24. These young women and men demonstrate immense potential to contribute positively but their needs are often overlooked. Stressful conditions and the complex policy environment have resulted in a growing sense of uncertainty and concern amongst young refugees and migrants, who are at risk of engaging in negative coping behaviors and losing all sense of hope.

In 2016, leading global organizations Mercy Corps and the Norwegian Refugee Council conducted focus groups with 120 young people from 11 different countries residing on Greek islands and mainland sites. The new report ‘Don’t Forget Us’ aims to make sure their voices are heard.