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Refugees Now Sleeping on the Streets Need Protection and Assistance

Fires that consumed Europe’s largest refugee camp, Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos earlier this week have left nearly 13,000 men, women, and children without shelter or access to basic services.  Prior to the fires, security in the…
Moria camp on Lesbos island following a fire that started on the evening of September 8, 2020, destroying most of the camp and leaving 12,000 asylum seekers and refugees without shelter.
News

Greece Extends Covid-19 Lockdown at Refugee Camps

The Greek government has begun easing lockdown measures, given the country’s success in keeping Covid-19 under control. Starting last week, people could leave their homes without authorization, most shops have re-opened, and older…
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News

Neglect Exposes Asylum Seekers to Abuse

With national elections coming up in less than a week in Greece, the widespread public debate about the country’s economy and future is not surprising. Unfortunately, other important issues are not getting the same attention. …
A Syrian man reads inside his tent at a makeshift camp outside Moria on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece.
News

Fresh Ruling Calls for End to Harmful Detention of Lone Migrant Children

This week, the European Court of Human Rights ruled for the second time in four months against Greece’s abusive practice of locking up unaccompanied migrant and asylum-seeking children in police cells under the so-called “protective custody”…
Unaccompanied children line up for an evening meal at a detention facility run by the Greek police.
News

End Containment Policy, Organize Transfers Now

 (Athens) – The Greek government and its European Union partners should urgently ensure that all asylum seekers on the Aegean islands are transferred to suitable accommodation on the mainland or relocated to other EU countries as winter approaches…
Asylum seekers outside their tent in the "Olive Grove", a makeshift camp outside Moria camp on the island of Lesbos on October 31, 2018.
News

Government Should Transfer Children On Their Own From Cells to Safe Housing

Migrant and asylum-seeking children, traveling without parents or relatives far from their families and homes, are being locked up in police cells and detention centers in Greece. Last August, in response to an open letter…
Unaccompanied children line up for an evening meal at a detention facility run by the Greek police.
News

Reopen Dubs Amendment; Improve Family Reunification Process

Tomorrow, UK parliamentarians will hold a much-needed debate on the situation of migrants and asylum seekers in Calais, one year after the demolition of the so-called “Jungle” camp. The discussion is critical, because conditions…
Unaccompanied children in the Calais migrant camp await interviews with the UK Home Office, October 22, 2016.
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Court ruling should encourage EU countries to relocate more asylum seekers

Hold the champagne. It’s more of a sparkling water moment. On September 6, the European Union's Court of Justice upheld the EU’s 2015 emergency plan requiring all member countries to relocate asylum seekers out of Italy and…
The entrance of the European Court of Justice is pictured in Luxembourg, January 26, 2017. Picture taken January 26, 2017.
News

Courtroom Victory Sends Strong Message On Racist Violence

Four years ago, Walid Taleb’s boss fastened a long chain around his neck, dragged him around “like a dog” and beat him severely. Why? Because Walid, an undocumented Egyptian migrant who was working informally in a bakery on the island of Salamina at the…
Walid Taleb.
News

Greece and EU Should Deal With Crowded Conditions on the Islands

The fatal explosion at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Thursday night is a stark reminder of the perilous conditions faced by thousands of asylum seekers in Greece The explosion, likely caused by a cooking gas…
Asylum seekers stand among the remains of a burned tent at the Moria migrant camp, after a fire started in the camp ripped through tents and destroyed containers, on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 20, 2016.
News

Funding Should End Unjustified Detention of Children in Deplorable Conditions

In his State of the Union address this morning, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker asked the EU and Greece to take strong and immediate action to help unaccompanied children: “without protection of these children, Europe is betraying its…
© 2016 Human Rights Watch
News

Overcrowding, Violence in Camps is Contributing to Rising Xenophobia

The situation on the Greek eastern Aegean islands housing the so-called refugee “hotspots” has taken a dangerous turn over the past week. According to reports by the media and non-governmental organizations, residents have attacked and intimidated asylum…
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“Here it is very hard for me to go to the toilet. My husband helps me at the door and random women help me inside the toilet,” Nawael, a 34-year-old Syrian woman who uses a wheelchair after being paralyzed from an airstrike in Syria, told me. I met her,…
Mud covers the deflated wheel of an Iraqi refugee’s wheelchair outside his tent at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants at the Greek-Macedonian border near the village of Idomeni, Greece, March 17, 2016.
News
The first returns of migrants - including perhaps some asylum seekers - from Greece to Turkey seem as dodgy as the EU-Turkey deal itself. And it will likely get worse. On the island of Lesbos, the EU and Greece staged a show…
Migrants look through a fence from inside the Moria registration centre for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos, Greece April 4, 2016.
News
At the Athens port of Piraeus, the effects of Europe’s utter failure to respond collectively and compassionately to people seeking protection is painfully clear. Over 4,000 women, men, and children are sleeping in old warehouses, tents, and even under…
Children washing outside a makeshift camp for asylum seekers and migrants at the port of Piraeus, in Athens. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates that women and children now make up nearly 60 per cent of those seeking refuge in Europe.
News
“My life was very hard. I lost my husband by the Taliban. I have six children so I took the decision to leave Afghanistan. Now, I also lost my baby.” This is about all that Nour (a pseudonym) managed to say when I spoke to…
Members of the Hellenic Coast Guard rescue migrants and asylum seekers from an overcrowded rubber dinghy found drifting in the sea off Lesbos island in Greece.  October 4, 2015.