Unsafe conditions in Greece’s refugee camps - urgent action by Polish cities required

Unsafe conditions in Greece’s refugee camps - urgent action by Polish cities required

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Students of Psychology, Jagiellonian University in Kraków started this petition to Krakow City Council and

On Greece's Aegean islands, over 15,000 refugees and asylum seekers live in tents and makeshift shelters in the island's refugee camps under freezing conditions. These camps are completely unprepared for winter weather - shelters do not keep out the wind and cold, and people are not provided with adequate heaters or sufficient warm clothes. The new Kara Tepe camp on Lesvos, otherwise called Moria version 2, gets flooded each time it rains, leaving tents ankle-deep in water.


On the 16th and 17th January weekend, winter temperatures dropped to around 0 degrees, with snow falling on the Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios. One refugee-led organisation (please name the organisation) on Lesvos shared this text on social media: "When we talk in the tent, our mouth steam is visible (sic). The children are crying from the cold, and their lips are red. We wear all the clothes we have, but still, we freeze. There are no heaters, and we cannot even make a fire because the wood is wet. The night should get colder, and this weather they say will stay for three days" (sic)


The following week, Greek authorities confirmed that Lesvos' new camp residents were also exposed to lead poisoning. Of several soil samples tested from the Kara Tepe camp, one returned positive for lead concentration above the international limits for residential use. Lead exposure's health impacts include permanent nervous system damage, particular risks for children's brains, and fetal development.


These dangerous, undignified, and inhumane conditions are by no accident - they are a product of Europe's approach to migration that aims to deter, detain and deport refugees arriving at its borders. Greek authorities and the European Union have repeatedly shown that they are unprepared to take action to resolve this crisis humanely and sustainably.


People must immediately be moved to safe, warm, and dignified living conditions - will you take action to help end these camps' suffering? Will your Council urge the national government to relocate people from these freezing and inhumane conditions to Poland's communities and cities?


The time to act is now.

#DisasterPact #RethinkMigrationPact #RethinkRefugees #StudentsSpeakUJ #notapassiveobserver

 

 

photo by: Yousif Alshewaili - Refugee photographer

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