Desperate refugees resort to sex work, drug abuse

With Europe's borders closed, vulnerable young men feel cornered in Greece and turn to the only thing they have left to sell – themselves.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees protesting dire living conditions block one of the entrances to the refugee camp at the former Hellinikon airport in Athens, Greece, February 6, 2017.

Feeling cornered, desperate and helpless, young refugees in Greece have turned to sex work and drugs. 

According to the International Office for Migration, at least 335,000 refugees made it across the sea to Europe in 2016. Now with the borders to Europe closed, there are at least 68,000 refugees stuck in Greece. And, as many young refugees run out of ways to support themselves, they are desperate enough to sell their bodies to survive.

At Pedion tou Areos park in Athens, refugee men say they are willing to work for 10 euros a day but are unable to make even that much. Some share they have even contemplated suicide, as they have run out of money and become dependent on the government and largesse of others for food.

TRT World's  Nicole Johnston reports from Athens.