The undersigned civil society organisations would like to share their concerns regarding the phenomenon of illegal refoulements at the Greek-Turkish borders. A phenomenon which is ever-present and yet qualitatively and quantitatively on the rise the last few years and in particular the recent period since March 2020, which should also be read within the framework of the more restrictive policies applied on the EU level.
Alarmed at the increasing frequency of expulsions and pushbacks of refugees and asylum-seekers at Europe’s land and sea borders, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for states to investigate and halt these practices.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is supporting the government-led response after a series of fires destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre in Moria (Lesvos) in September 2020. UNHCR has scaled up its support for all asylum-seekers affected and urges for comprehensive and humane solutions to address difficult living conditions on Greek islands.
Violent pushbacks continue with another incident in the Evros region on 29 December. Yet another life lost at the Aegean where a 26-year old woman drowned on 4 January. Four children were injured on 26 December when 12 armed people attacked an accommodation centre for unaccompanied refugee children in Northern Greece. Conditions in ‘Moria 2.0’ on Lesvos and the EU funded ‘new Malakasa’ construction outside of Athens are increasingly dire.
Thousands of asylum seekers, aid workers, United Nations, and Greek and European Union employees may be at risk of lead poisoning in a new migrant camp that Greek authorities have built on a repurposed military firing range on the island of Lesbos, Human Rights Watch said today.