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  • A woman watches the children at Moria Camp, Greece, Oct. 5, 2020.

    A woman watches the children at Moria Camp, Greece, Oct. 5, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @GUStatProf

Published 8 October 2020
Opinion

In the Aegean islands' refugee camps, people sleep on mats, do not have access to clean water, and receive food only once a day.

Some 450 European non-governmental organizations (NGOs) signed a joint declaration calling for a real change in the migration policy of the European Union and immediate solutions to solve the humanitarian crisis of migrants detained in the Aegean islands.

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Thousands of Refugees Demand To Be Released From Lesbos Island

Over 166,000 European citizens have so far joined the pro-migrant campaign promoted by Europe Must Act, Help Refugees, Legal Center Lesvos, Lesvos Solidarity, Doctors Without Borders, Refugee Rights Europe, and Still I Rise.

They emphasize that the Migration Pact proposed by the European Commission in September has only reaffirmed "the same policies that have caused years of suffering on the islands." Therefore, they urge EU leaders "to abandon proposals to entrench border facilities across Europe."

The petition also highlights that the new Lesbos camp, which was hastily built on a former seaside shooting range, recalls the squalor that characterized the Moria reception center that caught fire months ago.

The human rights defenders emphasize that men, women, and children sleep in tents on mats, do not have access to clean water, and receive food only once a day.

On the islands of Chios, Samos, Leros, and Kos, refugee camps continue to crowd people in inhuman conditions. In Samos, for example, 4,300 people live in a facility built to house just 650 refugees.

In these conditions, the refugees cannot comply with measures of physical distancing and cleanliness, which would allow them to reduce the probability of acquiring the COVID-19 disease. Nor have the authorities implemented any adequate medical response plan.

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