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Khasim is among the unaccompanied minors who have resorted to prostitution to meet their basic needs — a practice known as "survival sex."While there is no official data as to how many young asylum-seekers engage in survival sex in Greece, a report by Harvard-based academics published last year found that the victims tend to be young males.

The countries north of Greece had started closing their borders, transforming what was once a transit country into a host nation.

The country is currently home to around 3,000 unaccompanied minors, the official term for underage asylum-seekers who travel on their own.

Not far from Khasim, older white men chat with young migrants out of earshot.

Some beckon boys to join them at a small sidewalk café, while others sidle up to youngsters sitting on benches or approach those at the entrance to the subway. Two years ago, the Balkan countries to the north of Greece closed their borders, blocking the migrant route to Western Europe.

Dimitra Arvanitaki, the director of a shelter near Omonia Square, said her charity had been unable to pay staff this year because of a lack of government funds and could not rely on the generosity of local businesses much longer.

"It’s an extremely difficult situation," she said."Donations for refugee crisis are running short," said Zoe Kokalou, a spokeswoman for the Greek charity Arsis (Association for the Social Support of Youth), which supports vulnerable young people and runs the shelter near Omonia Square.

The United Nations estimates that some 50,000 asylum-seekers and refugees remain in the country.

Greece has the highest unemployment rate in Europe — more than 20 percent — and is still grappling with the fallout of the 2008 debt crisis, which left an already-stressed welfare system struggling to cope.

That's a fortune for the likes of Khasim and Fazul.

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