Skype is no solution - we need face-to-face services for refugees in Greece

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Skype is no solution - we need face-to-face services for refugees in Greece

This petition had 212,030 supporters
Rania Ali started this petition to Dimitris Avramopoulos (EU Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship) and

My name is Rania Ali and I am from Raqqa, Syria. I am 20 years old. I used to study business back in Syria but when ISIS took over our city my family had no choice but to leave. Because we are Kurdish as well we faced more trouble.

Now I am In Idomeni camp in Greece with my husband. Since the borders closed we have been living in a tent in the mud, rain and sun for over one and a half months. Life is becoming a normal hell, frustrations are rising as my husband and I lose hope.

Refugees in Greece have only three options to continue their lives beyond camps: to apply for asylum in Greece, to apply for family reunification or for relocation to another country in the EU if they want us. And all three options can only begin with an appointment made by a Skype call, and only for one hour per week for some languages.

My husband and I want to apply for relocation to another country in Europe to escape from this situation. I have tried to call the Skype Asylum service for 20 days with no answer. For us refugees here in Greece, our lives are reduced to a routine of sleeping and waiting. Waiting in line for food, to go to the bathroom, to charge our phones, and waiting on hold for a Skype call that is never picked up. Our lives are stuck in limbo.

Waiting on-hold is frustrating, but when your life depends on the call?

For people living in camps with limited access to electricity, smart phones, computers, or internet, this is a cruel and senseless procedure. If it is our right to claim Asylum, then why are there such impossible barriers to do so?

If my husband and I can finally apply for relocation, we will still have to wait many months for decisions about our future to be made - a future that is no longer in our hands. But at the very least let us begin the wait now with some certainty - that we won´t be stuck in camps in Greece forever.

We demand that the responsible politicians here in Greece, with access to the resources of the EU, take immediate action:

  • We need you to replace the failed system of only being able to make asylum appointments to the Greek Asylum Office with a Skype call that is never picked up with a face-to-face service in the refugee camps here in Greece.

Because the longer we wait in this limbo, the more desperate people become. The more people will die or disappear with smugglers, or even commit suicide, and the more shame all of Europe should feel for leaving 50,000 of us here with no options besides a Skype call that is never picked up.

Please sign my petition!  
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