Over the past five years, an entirely avoidable and predictable policy-driven humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in the Greek islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, and Kos, with devasting consequences for the people trapped there. After fleeing their homes and surviving harrowing journeys to Europe, the indefinite containment, limbo, and systematic violence in Greece further traumatises people seeking protection.
The ‘hotspot approach’ has been envisaged as a model of operational support by the EU agencies to the Member States to facilitate the swift identification, registration, and fingerprinting of migrants arriving in Europe.
As a humanitarian medical organisation providing care on the Greek islands, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been treating the physical and mental wounds these migration policies have inflicted on people for many years.
In this report, 'Constructing Crisis at Europe's Borders', MSF takes stock of five years of providing medical care on the Greek islands. The report's analysis is based on documentation and medical data from MSF operations on Lesvos, Samos, and Chios, as well as testimony from patients and MSF staff.