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UNHCR welcomes asylum process reforms in Greece, but more needs to be done

The UN refugee agency commended Greece for reforming its asylum process during tough economic and political times for the southern European nation, but noted that more needed to be done.

UNHCR regreats that "Integration prospects and related support for refugees are practically non-existent. Many are marginalized or excluded in the absence of concrete integration measures. In addition, refugees face considerable difficulties with family unification, a right that is denied altogether to those provided with subsidiary protection.

Finding accommodation is particularly difficult. There are no specific facilities for social housing or any alternative forms of support. Moreover, there is no targeted national strategy to promote employment of refugees, and, as a result, many face destitution.

Protection and integration is further impeded by xenophobia and racist violence against migrants and refugees. For example, the Racist Violence Recording Network, an umbrella network of civil society organizations supported by UNHCR, recorded 65 incidents in the first nine months of 2014, involving physical attacks in public places against migrants and refugees because of the colour of their skin and ethnicity."