Greece must be helped with refugee influx: Redgrave

British Actress Vanessa Redgrave (R) talks to refugees and migrants during her visit to the reception facility of Eleonas in Athens on January 5, 2015 (AFP Photo/Louisa Gouliamaki)

Athens (AFP) - Oscar-winning British actress Vanessa Redgrave on Tuesday urged the world to help debt-hit Greece to provide shelter to hundreds of thousands of refugees in search of a better life.

"The Greek people are showing the world how to be human...how to try to help fellow human beings," Redgrave told reporters during a visit to the Eleonas camp, the main facility housing migrants in Athens.

"Now we've got to tell our governments 'you've got to step in here'. The Greeks can't solve all the problems in the world and be left to do it on their own," said the 78-year-old actress, a life-long advocate of human rights causes who has courted controversy with her support of the Palestinians, Chechens and some prisoners held by the US in Guantanamo Bay.

"I have a duty to do what I can to speak for the refugees, the asylum-seekers, the families of the world," she said.

More than one million migrants and refugees reached Europe in 2015, mainly fleeing violence in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, of whom four in five travelled via the Greek islands.