Greek volunteers share Nansen Refugee Award

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Efi Latsoudi, human rights activist behind PIKPA camp, and Hellenic Rescue Team leader Konstantinos Mitragas, in front of a vast pile of lifejackets in northern Lesvos, a haunting reminder of the dangers faced by refugees who arrived on Greek shores in 2015. Photo: UNHCR/Gordon Welters

A 2,000 strong volunteer sea rescue team and a human rights activist from Greece are the joint winners of the 2016 UN Nansen Refugee Award.

Efi Latsoudi of PIKPA village, the residential holiday centre turned refugee shelter and Konstantinos Mitragas of the Hellenic Rescue Team received the award on behalf of their organizations.

Over 850,000 people arrived in Greece by sea in 2015 with more than 500,000 arriving on the island of Lesvos.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

UNHCR's Nansen Refugee Award honours extraordinary service to the forcibly displaced.

The Hellenic Rescue Team is being recognized for its round-the-clock efforts to save refugees and migrants in distress from the sea.

The team is credited with saving thousands of lives during the 2015 refugee crisis.

A passionate human rights activist named Efi Latsoudi from the PIKPA village was also chosen for her compassion and care for the most vulnerable refugees and migrants arriving on the Greek island of Lesvos.

PIKPA also offers access to medical care, legal assistance, food and clothes.

This year's prize comes at a time when UNHCR is urging the world's governments to work together and find joint solutions for the current refugee global crisis.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 44″

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