Dozens of refugee men forced to sell sex for as little as €2 to survive in Greece

Migrants from Syria and Afghanistan becoming sex workers in Athens' red light district

Gabriel Samuels
Tuesday 07 June 2016 22:30 BST
Young migrants in Athens are increasing being pushed into sex work to survive
Young migrants in Athens are increasing being pushed into sex work to survive (AFP/Getty Images)

Dozens of migrant men from Syria and Afghanistan are reportedly being forced into selling sex for as little as two euros in order to survive their asylum in Greece.

The men, including some teenagers, are giving themselves up for prostitution to make money shortly after they arrive in Athens, according to a report by Global Post.

The majority of this activity is centred on Greek capital Athens’ ‘red light’ Fylis Street neighbourhood.

Old airport in Athens becomes home for trapped refugees

While some of the migrants are selling sex for 30 euros, others are forced to accept as little as two euros as they are reportedly too ashamed to ask for more.

Much has been made of the number of female migrants forced to become prostitutes in asylum camps in Europe, but little has been reported about the extent of the issue within the male migrant community.

Sex work in Greece is only legal in registered brothels but a large amount of illicit business is conducted on the streets of the capital and in public parks.

A young Afghan migrant, named only as Abdullah, said he had sold sex.

He told the website: “I didn’t have any money. At the airport, there is no healthy work.

There was no other way for me. I didn't even have 20 cents

&#13; <p>Abdullah, a young Afghan migrant</p>&#13;

“You can sell drugs, sell sex or work for smugglers to find customers. There was no other way for me. I didn’t even have 20 cents.

“I got angry. I had just arrived, and I had to do this just to get some money.

“We had only one hope, that the border was open, and now it's closed. I don’t have money to go anywhere. I don’t know what to do.”

Abdullah currently lives within the city’s Hellinikon Olympic complex, which is home to more than 4,000 migrants who line the entrance to the nearby airport.

Since January 2011, almost 10,000 Pakistani asylum seekers have sought refuge in Greece, and nearly 6,000 from Syria according to statistics from the UN Refugee Agency.

A further 5,700 have fled from the Syrian conflict to Greek shores and the remaining 34,000 from Bangladesh, Georgia and elsewhere.

According to figures published by the European Commission, less than 2 per cent of migrants to Greece have so far moved on to other European countries.

However, last month the European Border agency announced the number of migrants arriving on Greek islands from Turkey was down 90 per cent on the previous month.

The Independent has contacted the International Organisation for Migration for comment.

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