A dozen human rights organisations, including Oxfam and Human Rights Watch (HRW), have united to highlight the issue, stressing Greece needs the support of EU leaders to end the policy of “containment”, which restricts asylum-seekers to the islands while their claims are processed.
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has been urged to transfer the refugees to better living conditions on the mainland by the time winter officially starts on 21 December.
“This remains a matter of life and death,” Jana Frey, Greece’s director for the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement.
“There is absolutely no excuse for the conditions on the islands right now – thousands of people crammed into overcrowded and desperately under-resourced facilities.”
Migrant “hotspots” at Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros, and Kos are almost 7,200 over capacity, with close to 13,000 people, including many women and children, in facilities with a capacity of just 5,576, according to the groups. The majority of refugees are believed to be Syrians and Iraqis fleeing their war-torn countries.
Those stuck in the camps live in harsh and often unsanitary conditions, often sleeping on the ground, exposed to the cold and rain, with limited access to proper toilets and showers, while women are forced to share tents and containers with unrelated men, risking their safety, the groups said.
Mar 21, 2019Female Rohingya refugees have created a support group called Shanti Mohila (peace women) in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. None of these women knew each other before fleeing Myanmar more than a year ago but grief and trauma brought them together leading them to meet frequently in refugee camps. “Our fathers and brothers shot, our sisters […]
Mar 11, 2019