Via Danish Refugee Council – 19 NGOs decry conditions at the site, now worse than ever, and call for sustainable solutions to both decongest the islands and improve conditions across first receptions centres in North Aegean Sea.
STOP DEPORTATIONS TO TURKEY
People trapped on the Greek Islands are deprived of basic rights
Via Deportation Monitoring Aegean and Legal Centre Lesbos – Since the EU-Turkey Statement, more and more people seeking protection in Europe are deported directly from the Greek Islands to Turkey. According to the European Commission, at least 2,224 people have been deported to Turkey since the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal on 20th of March 2016. Under constant threat of being deported, many people have to stay in a state of limbo for more than a year. They have to wait in the dehumanising living conditions of the barbed wired European hotspot camps on the Greek Islands that are unable to meet their fundamental needs. The deadlock situation drives people to despair. Already in 2017, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) denounced a “mental health emergency” on the Greek islands. Continue reading Deportation Monitoring Aegean and Legal Centre Lesbos Publish Joint Report
Refugees and migrants line up for a food distribution at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, November 5, 2015. (Reuters Photo)
Via Daily Sabah – Workers at a camp for migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos said Friday they will go on strike to protest overcrowding, as the government conceded conditions were “near impossible.”
More than 8,300 people occupy the Moria camp, which has room for only 3,100, in conditions Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas described as “very difficult, near impossible.” Continue reading Greek migrant camp workers on Lesbos go on strike to protest overcrowding
Along the new migration route through southeastern Europe, migrants are beaten, stranded, and neglected, while the EU looks the other way.
Via Jacobin Magazine – Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small country in the Balkans, is one of the poorest in Europe. Since February, it’s been dealing with an unprecedented wave of migration. The so-called Balkan Route, used by migrants to reach Western Europe from Turkey and Greece, has changed. Previously, this route went across Bulgaria or Macedonia, then Serbia and Hungary, before heading toward Germany or Austria, depending on where people were hoping to end up.
Via Ahval News / Nurcan Baysal (from August 25)- Before the European Union and Turkey signed an agreement in 2016 to limit the number of Syrian refugees heading to Europe in return for aid to help those who had fled the war to Turkey, I was among a group of academics and activists who work on refugee issues in Turkey invited to Berlin to discuss the matter.
We sat with German and EU politicians in closed meetings to discuss the condition of refugee camps in Turkey. Issues on our agenda included Turkey’s potential to be a safe third country, as well as the management of camps run by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority, including their lack of transparency and oversight.
Via BBC – At Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, there is deadly violence, overcrowding, appalling sanitary conditions and now a charity says children as young as 10 are attempting suicide. The Victoria Derbyshire programme has been given rare access inside.
“We are always ready to escape, 24 hours a day we have our children ready,” says Sara Khan, originally from Afghanistan. “The violence means our little ones don’t get to sleep.”
Via euobserver – “I get depressed here. I want to go to a good school to study,” said a bright, 12-year-old girl from Afghanistan, who’s been stuck for six months in the grim Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. “If we don’t study we won’t have a future and we won’t become successful.” Continue reading Children losing out on education in EU migration deal
Via Infomigrants (1st August) – The migrant route from Turkey to Europe is rising in popularity. Some 14,470 people trying to use it have been stopped by the Turkish Coast Guard so far in 2018, a 60 percent increase on the previous year. Continue reading Migrant route from Turkey more popular
Reporting from the kritnet conference in Göttingen – Part 2
The HarekAct editorial board attended the 16th kritnet conference in Göttingen between 11-13th of May. It was a very good occasion to share and exchange knowledge, meet our friends, activists and colleagues again and discuss future projects and plans. We took part in the workshop titled “Post 2015 Border Regime – Re-Stabilization of the European Border Regime after the ‘Long Summer of Migration’”. We discussed the extension of borders into the cities following the example of Istanbul; the state of the border regime and public debate on migration in Turkey; and the impact and future of the EU-Turkey statement for both Greece and Turkey. Besides the individual inputs, we had a rich collective discussion with various perspectives, information and experiences brought by activists, researchers and professionals from Germany, Turkey, Greece and Kurdish region, and we are looking forward to keep building on the ideas we had as well as the connections we built there.
Although with a little bit of delay, now we would like to share our contributions to the workshop one by one. Enjoy the inputs presented by HarekAct editors in written and updated form in our blog. Keep posted!
Disobedient Border Crossings…
Since the EU-Turkey Deal, the number of clandestine border crossings has dropped substantially, and the agreement is still deterring many migrants from crossing the Aegean Sea. But that’s not the whole picture: Since April 2016, more than 60.000 people made it across the Aegean, and boats are still landing on the islands on an almost daily basis, despite augmented border control. Recently, the number of migrants arriving on the Greek Aegean islands via the sea are increasing again. While around 3.200 people arrived between April and May 2017, the number almost doubled during the same period in 2018, with circa 6.000 migrants making it safely to Greece. This year up until mid-June, circa 13.000 migrants have crossed from Turkey to Greece, with most of the boats still arriving on Lesvos island (ca. 7.000) (see UNHCR).
In the following text, I will take a closer look at the changes and dynamics in the Aegean Sea following the EU-Turkey Deal. Although border patrol agents are increasing their capacities, we are still witnessing many disobedient border crossings and a civil society which continues to report about rights violations at sea. Continue reading Shedding Light on the Maritime Border between Turkey and Greece – Changes in the Border regime in the Aegean Sea since the EU-Turkey Deal
Via Doctors Without Borders – As refugees continue to arrive on the island of Lesbos, Greece, the situation in Moria refugee camp is descending into chaos. There are frequent clashes, riots, and incidents of sexual violence, and the conditions of the camp are harming refugees’ mental health.
There are now more than 8,000 people crammed into a space made for 3,000 in Moria camp. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has witnessed escalating daily violence in Moria over the past few months, and staff have treated many victims of sexual violence, which occurs in and around the camp. Continue reading Refugees further traumatized by conditions in Greece’s Moria camp