UNHCR shocked at deaths in northern Greece


UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is shocked at news that 11 people were killed today, after the car they were in collided with a truck in northern Greece. The report comes just days after two women and one teenage girl were found dead near the Greek bank of the Evros River, which demarcates the border with Turkey.

We are deeply saddened by the devastating news from an area where thousands of refugees have risked their lives and crossed into Greece on irregular routes,” said Philippe Leclerc, the representative in Greece of UNHCR.

More than 12,700 refugees and migrants have crossed to Greece’s north-east so far in 2018, according to data compiled by UNHCR, more than double the number that crossed in 2017. At least 40 deaths have been recorded in the region in 2018, nearly half having drowned in the fast-flowing Evros River.

These horrific deaths are part of the broader dangers faced by people who find themselves at the mercy of human smugglers, who exploit their vulnerability.

UNHCR once again calls for alternatives to these dangerous crossings for people in need of international protection through safe and legal channels to reach the European Union, including family reunification and resettlement.