human development, social justice and sustainable social systems
End refugee containment in Greece
The EU-Turkey deal has had inhumane consequences on asylum-seekers
As many as 20,000 asylum seekers have been stranded in unsafe, unhygienic and inhumane conditions on Greek islands in 2018.
This has been the result of the short-sighted EU-Turkey deal through which some European countries have been able to shirk their responsibilities towards vulnerable asylum seekers. Greece is the location of an unnecessary and unfair policy whereby refugees are contained on the island rather than re-distributed across the EU, leading to the overcrowding of camps, precarious living conditions for asylum seekers and undue strain on the islands’ inhabitants. While the overall number of asylum applications across Europe has dropped over the past three years, the number of asylum applications in Lesbos alone have tripled from 5,000 to 17,270 between 2016 and 2018. In this open letter, Caritas Hellas, alongside 24 other humanitarian, human rights and volunteer organisations, call on European leaders to fulfill their duties of solidarity by ending the containment policy and reaching a common responsibility-sharing agreement for hosting asylum seekers across EU Member States.