Greece: Dire Conditions for Asylum Seekers on Lesbos

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Greece: Dire Conditions for Asylum Seekers on Lesbos

Author: hrw.org | 21 November 2018

The already dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria camp for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos may deteriorate into a full-blown humanitarian disaster as winter approaches unless urgent action is taken, Human Rights Watch said today.

“Thousands of people seeking protection in Europe are deprived of their most basic rights to humane and dignified treatment on Lesbos,” said Todor Gardos, Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The EU-backed containment policy is aggravating long-lasting suffering of asylum seekers, turning Lesbos into an open-air prison.”

On a visit to Lesbos from October 16 to 17, 2018, Human Rights Watch witnessed the overcrowding, unsuitable accommodations, and despair in Moria camp and the adjacent overspill camp known as the “Olive Grove.” Human Rights Watch interviewed 26 asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia, including families and women and men traveling alone.

In September, the Regional Authority of the Northern Aegean, which is responsible for public health, said the Moria camp posed a threat to public health and the environment due to overcrowding, uncontrolled sewage spills, broken toilet waste pipes, and generally poor hygienic conditions that could abet the spread of infectious disease. Conditions in the camp remained unsuitable for accommodation even though the regional authority ordered the migration policy minister and Moria camp’s management in early September to improve conditions within 30 days. Read more>>>