Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Campaigners want refugees to move to Greek mainland

Syrian Refugees | 2017-12-02 12:28:03
Campaigners want refugees to move to Greek mainland
Human rights organizations are urging the Greek government and the European Union to immediately start the transfer of asylum seekers to better conditions on Greece’s mainland as winter approaches.

Human Rights Watch on Friday said this will be the second winter that asylum seekers will have had to endure in unsuitable facilities on the islands since an EU-Turkey deal came into effect in March 2016.

Researcher Eva Cosse told Anadolu Agency that “as of Nov. 30, there were 2,434 people housed in the VIAL hotspot in Chios which has a capacity of 894”.

“The Moria hotspot hosts more than 6,500 people, including a very large number of women and children, in a space for 2,300,” she added.

Twelve organizations are teaming up to launch a digital campaign to highlight the refugees’ conditions. A tweet reading “Nobody should be forced to sleep in the cold this winter. End the inhumane containment of asylum seekers on the Greek Islands,” was directly sent to the accounts of Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras, with the hashtag #OpenTheIslands.

“The aim of this campaign is that by Dec. 21, the official start of winter, PM Tsipras, with the support of EU leaders, declares an end to the containment policy,” Cosse said.

“Throughout these 21 days, we will be counting down through social media, and monitoring the situation and updating the public on the response of the Greek authorities and EU states and on the situation on the islands,” she added.

UNHCR figures show that as of Oct. 31, over 24,100 refugees and migrants reached Greek shores in 2017, compared to 169,790 arriving in the same period last year, an 85 percent reduction.

Arrivals mainly originate from Syria and Iraq.
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