Stand For Humanity - Join the call for a humane and transparent solution. Deporting refugees to camps in Greece must be stopped
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‘I am afraid there will be another fire at the camp. My mother cries every night,’ explains a 12-year old girl from Iran.
‘Since two days I can’t sleep, I’m afraid police will come in any second to take me to the plane’ an Iraqi refugee writes from Düziçi closed camp in Turkey.
The European Commission has proposed new measures aiming to increase the number of deportations to Turkey under the EU-Turkey Deal. One of those measures is to re-start the deportation of refugees to Greece under the Dublin Regulation.
What does it mean in practice? What have volunteers witnessed in Greece?
It means that people who have fled war and persecution will be sent back to camps where we, volunteers have witnessed pregnant women, newborns, the sick and the elderly kept in inhuman and degrading conditions.
'We have witnessed people being fed rotten food.
We have witnessed children being denied access to education and unaccompanied minors detained in camps with no protection.
We have witnessed the failure of the authorities to protect men, women and children living in the camps from acts of violence.
We have witnessed the insufficient and often completely absent access to medical care and legal support.
We have witnessed victims of torture, of war, of terrorism denied psychological support.
We have witnessed the systematic erosion of refugees’ right to asylum, the anxiety, desperation, and the suicide attempts caused by legal uncertainty and the threat of deportation.
And we have mourned those who died crossing the Aegean Sea in the hope of finding safety, and a future, in Europe.'
The situation is particularly alarming in the refugee camps on the islands in the Aegean Sea. More than 16,000 refugees – more than double the official capacity - are languishing in dehumanising conditions.
Despite millions in EU emergency funding and the presence of major humanitarian agencies, volunteers have been witnesses to the ongoing serious and systematic failure of national and European authorities and their official partners to ensure the rights of people seeking international protection and to re-evaluate their response, making it more humane, effective, and transparent.
'You didn't just steal my rights, my time, my feelings only, but more importantly my humanity too', Ahmad writes in a poem addressed ‘to whom it may concern’.
What can you do?
Government ministers from the EU Member States are looking at the implementation of the EU Turkey Deal.
You can show that you #StandForHumanity and in solidarity with refugees by adding your name to the growing number of people who demand governments ministers of the EU Member States to uphold the rights and principles of the EU Charter Fundamental Rights and:
- Refrain from resuming deportation of refugees to Greece under the Dublin Regulation as recommended by the European Commission.
- Repeal the EU-Turkey Statement of 18 March 2016, revoking all measures implemented under that Statement.
- Effectively implement the legal obligations derived from the relocation scheme established in Council Decisions 2015/1523 and 2015/1601 of 14 and 22 of September 2015.
- Ensure public access to information and processes, in particular budget transparency, related to the EU funding disbursed to the Greek government under the Emergency Support Instrument in order to hold governments and other actors operating in the camps accountable, and rigorously investigate allegations of negligence.
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