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Table 1 Asylum recognition rate and vulnerability status on Lesbos Island, Greece, 2017

From: "I prefer dying fast than dying slowly", how institutional abuse worsens the mental health of stranded Syrian, Afghan and Congolese migrants on Lesbos island following the implementation of EU-Turkey deal

Asylum seekers stranded on Lesbos Island have three main options: a) obtaining a refugee status in Greece, b) deportation to Turkey, c) deportation to their country of origin. Different nationalities were categorized under the so-called “high (Syrian and to a lesser extend Afghans) and low (Congolese) asylum recognition rate”. Countries with a low asylum recognition rate were for the most part detained upon arrival and almost exclusively had their asylum claim rejected. Much of their fate depended on their nationality rather than their risk of persecution. Vulnerability status according to the categories as defined in Greek law influences who is obliged to stay on the island for the asylum process. All people arriving on the islands have to undergo a vulnerability screening before their asylum seeking claim will be examined by the Greek authorities. Through vulnerability identification, migrants are allowed to move to the Greek mainland and have their asylum claim examined there, while gaining better access to services they might require. However, the process for the identification of vulnerability was subject to prolonged delays and continuous modifications. Therefore large numbers of migrants were not recognized as vulnerable, and consequently remained stranded on the island.