THE HIGHLANDS MUST PLEDGE TO RELOCATE REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM THE AEGEAN

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07.05.20

To Margaret Davidson, Highland Council Leader, Donna Manson, Chief Executive, Bill Lobban, Convener, Helen Carmichael, Lord Provost of Inverness, Council Members and citizens of the Highlands

THE HIGHLANDS MUST PLEDGE TO RELOCATE REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS FROM THE AEGEAN HOTSPOT CAMPS IN GREECE!

There is a humanitarian crisis taking place at Europe’s borders. 40,000 refugees and asylum seekers are currently trapped on the Aegean islands, forced to live in dangerously overcrowded camps with limited medical services and inadequate, or as for many thousands of people, complete lack of sanitary facilities. These inhumane conditions are the result of  5 years of neglectful EU policies. 

Even in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, EU leaders have remained indifferent or hesitant to act. The EU Commission has promised to relocate 1600 unaccompanied minors. A step in the right direction, but not good enough. The horrendous conditions in the Aegean camps make all inhabitants, regardless of age or health, extremely vulnerable. That this situation is allowed to persist is a blatant contradiction to all notions we share of being considerate to others with regards to hygiene and social distancing (if the food queue in Moria camp on Lesvos was to be socially distanced the line would stretch for 30km.) In the past few weeks alone we have seen three devastating fires tear through the camps on Chios, Samos and Lesvos resulting in many hundreds of people losing all but the clothes on their back.  EU leaders need a wake up call. 

Europe cannot stand by and leave behind these children, women and men in such camps.

We have the moral obligation to act: Europe Must Act! 

In order to save lives, the camps on the Aegean islands must be completely evacuated. On the 30th of March, the Mayor and citizens of Berlin pledged to take in 1,500 refugees. Now we are asking cities, towns and regions across Europe to join Berlin in offering sanctuary to the refugees stuck in overcrowded camps on the Greek mainland and islands. 

Will the people of the Highlands continue to give a warm welcome and be in solidarity with those seeking asylum from such unnecessarily brutal conditions? 

Together, we can send a clear signal to EU leaders and national governments that Europe is willing and able to act on its humanitarian values and provide shelter to those who seek refuge from war and persecution. 

Highland Council Leaders and citizens of the Highlands, will you make a pledge?

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Signed:

Local Signatories:

Highland Migrant & Refugee Action (HiMRA) 

(Do you know an organisation/business/band/... who would like to support our campaign? Let us know!)

Scotland-wide Supporters:

Scottish Detainee Visitors

Students for Global Health

UK Wide Supporters:

- AfE - Action for Education

- Baroness Jenny Jones of Moulsecoomb (Green Party) 

- Baroness Natalie Bennett of Manor Castle (Green Party)

- Bras Not Bombs

- DropPoint

- FWRD - Festival Waste Reclamation and Distribution

- Herts for Refugees

- MARDi - Medical Aid for Refugees and Displaced People

- O's Refugee Aid Team

- People in Motion

- People not Borders

- RefuNet

- Side by Side Refugees

(Can you help us reach more? Get in touch!)