Before the EU-Turkey deal that was agreed on march 18th 2016, Lesvos was the island where most people, fleeing from war torn countries like Syria, Irak, Afghanistan, were arriving. Up to 5000 people a day came to Lesvos to find safety and to start a new life in Europe. Whereas before the agreement Lesvos was a transit place, people nowadays arriving are stuck on the island living in conditions that have been described to HRW as “unfit for animals”.
According to UNHCR 5850 (September 26th) are living on the island whereas the official capacity is 3500. And still people arrive on a daily basis, making the situation worse and worse. In August 2016 officially more than 1500 people found their way to Lesvos (UNHCR, Lesvos Data Snapshot, September 21).
This video was filmed by ERCI – Emergency Response Centre International on September 26).
“Refugees on the island of Lesvos say they have reached breaking point and more antisocial behaviour is inevitable unless their situation improves.” (News That Moves, June 9, 2016)
The fire on September 21 “at the overcrowded Moria detention centre in Lesvos is an indication of Europe’s failure to tackle the refugee crisis, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Greek branch of Medecins du Monde (MDM) said, in the aftermath of the blaze.”
Organisations such as MDM Greece are condemning that people trying to find safety are stuck in hotspots like Moria for too long, causing frustration amongst refugees and the local community. Moria is just an example of a reception centre that was built specifically for hosting a moving population deprived of the liberty of movement after arriving in Greece. (News that Moves, September 22, 2016)
EU failed in Lesvos. Until decision makers find suitable solutions for more than 5000 people on the island we commit ourselves to make a more save and dignified life for them. Winter is coming and temeratures will decrease soon. We want to be preapred.