"I take my children with me wherever I go", said one 27 year-old Syrian woman.

Zeid expressed concern that this language presents a real risk of overlooking human rights law obligations, which require States to examine arguments against return beyond those found in refugee law. "It is not a place where humans should be", said Babar Baloch, a spokesman for the United Nations refugee agency who has been in Idomeni for the past three weeks.

"We will not be complicit in this unfair and inhumane system", said Jane-Ann McKenna, Director of MSF in Ireland.

In an excoriating indictment of official efforts to handle the emergency, Human Rights Watch said a humanitarian crisis was unfolding in the Athens port of Piraeus that needed urgently to be addressed.

"It's really important that we put pressure on the authorities to implement this system properly because the way it has been done now does not make any sense, it's not humane and it's not legal so we can't be supporting that as a humanitarian organisation". "So we will see what the situation is in a few more days".

The UN refugee agency pulled out staff on Tuesday from facilities on Lesbos and other Greek islands being used to detain refugees as an worldwide deal with Turkey came under further strain.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Wednesday also suspended some of its activities in Greece, describing the reception centers for refugees as "detention facilities".

Reuters quoted a spokeswoman of the U.N.'s refugee agency, the UNHCR, as saying it will no longer help to transport refugees to processing centers.

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Under a deal struck last week between the European Union and Turkey, newcomers to the Greek islands who are not deemed eligible for asylum will be forced to return to Turkey.

Marie Elisabeth Ingres, who heads the charity's mission in Greece, added it would "not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation".

MSF have ceased all activities linked to the so called "hotspot", including the transportation of refugees to the centre, water and sanitation management and medical work at the clinic.

More than 147,000 people, many fleeing conflict in the Middle East and Asia, have arrived in Greece by sea this year, 59 percent of them women and children, according to UNHCR.

About 2,000 people have been detained since the deal took effect, with migrants still arriving in boats despite the crackdown.

"Greece does not have sufficient capacity on the islands for assessing asylum claims, nor the proper conditions to accommodate people decently and safely pending an examination of their cases", said Fleming. It will continue to provide other services including counselling to refugees, it said.

Humanitarian organisations Doctors Without Borders (MSF), UNHCR, International Rescue Committee, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Save The Children have all hit out at the 28-country bloc's handling of the crisis, as they announced a boycott of refugee detention centres.

Greek authorities last Saturday began accelerating the transfer to the mainland of some 8,000 refugees and migrants who had arrived on the islands before the March 20 cutoff and who now can hope to be resettled across Europe. Newcomers arriving since Sunday are instead now subject to repatriation to Turkey. "Naturally we want it to stay, under certain rules, of course", Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas told Greek radio.