One day: Dramatic images from the refugee crisis by Alessandro Penso

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Lesvos, Greece Oct. 18, 2015. A mother and child  wrapped in an emergency blanket after disembarking on the beach of Kayia, on the north of the Greek island of Lesvos. 
© Alessandro Penso © Officine Fotografiche Roma
 
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2012. Corinth. Greece. 17-year old Mohamed from Morocco and his friends hiding behind the rocks at the port during the night, waiting for the right moment to illegally board a ship to Italy. Many young migrants see other European countries as their only hope of a future, and attempt to leave Greece at the first possible moment, often in desperate ways, tolerating desperate conditions. In Greece, around 96% of requests for political asylum were refused in 2014, a modest improvement on 2012, when the refusal rate reached 99.5%. For this reason, young people must hide from the authorities, because having a Greek police record would mean the end of the dream of safe reception in Europe.
According to European immigration regulations, if found by the Greek police, they must claim asylum in Greece, and they must not travel to or claim asylum in any other European country while their asylum application is being processed by Greece, which can take years.
This is the story of young, unaccompanied migrants in Greece: young people who, every day, confront the difficulties of a country tormented by the economic crisis. Greece also refuses asylum requests more than any other country in Europe, reaching a 99.5% refusal rate in 2012. Many young migrants therefore see other European countries as their only hope of a future, and attempt to leave Greece at the first possible moment, often in desperate ways, tolerating desperate conditions.
© Alessandro Penso © Officine Fotografiche Roma
 
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© Alessandro Penso © Officine Fotografiche Roma
 
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2013. Harmanli. Bulgaria. A young girl from Syria cooking inside the Harmanli camp. The biggest of Bulgaria’s “emergency centres” for refugees is in the town of Harmanli, about 30 kilometres away from the Turkish border, where around 1,000 asylum-seekers are being detained on a former military base, housed in tents, containers and a dilapidated building. People living in tents have no access to sanitation facilities. Although there are four toilets in a building at the entrance of the centre, they are frequently blocked and hardly adequate for hundreds of people. The tents are not heated and the residents sleep either on thin mattresses or on old foldable beds. 
© Alessandro Penso © Officine Fotografiche Roma
 
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© Alessandro Penso © Officine Fotografiche Roma
Until October 27, 2016

 
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