the refugee families living among filth and faeces in camp in greece
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The refugee families living among filth and faeces in camp in Greece

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Arab Today, arab today The refugee families living among filth and faeces in camp in Greece

It is the playground for hundreds of children
London - Arab Today

People who are fleeing from war are forced to live in squalid Greek island camps as the EU struggles to process asylum claims.
A few miles inland from Lesbos' main town is a place the authorities would rather you didn't see.

Moria looks like a barbed wired fortress. It was built four years ago with European Union money.
It was supposed to be a central part of the solution to the continent's migration crisis; a migrant camp, an efficient processing centre with room for 2,000 people.

The latest figures from the Greek migration ministry, from the weekend, put the population at 6,123.
It is run by the Greek government and paid for by the European Union.

Our access is around the back and through one of many holes in the fence.

Inside, it's clear quickly that this isn't a place just full of young men, chancing it in Europe. It is full of families.

It is the playground for hundreds of children. Many walk around alone or in couples. They wander among the rubbish and their own faeces, which are everywhere.

The charities are here: Medecins Sans Frontieres, The Samaritans, the UNHCR and more. But they are totally overwhelmed.
Our guide through the warren is Abraham. He fled Iraq, he says, after he was persecuted for converting to Christianity.

"In the Middle East - Iraq, Syria - there is no life. Dangerous," he says.

You don't have to seek the stories out here. They come to you. We meet Hamoud from Syria. He takes us to his tent because he wants to show us his daughter.

"She is very sick. Can you see her?" he says.

We don't know what's wrong with her because he doesn't either. She looks ok, which is encouraging.

Hamoud's Syrian ID card shows the family is from the town of Raqqa, the headquarters of the Islamic State - until the place was flattened two months ago.
He then shows us why the family left. Abruptly, without warning he begins to undress.

On his arms and torso are bulging scars from what must have been deep wounds that were not treated.

He says they are from torture. He had refused to fight for IS. It's impossible to verify the claim but there is also no reason for us to doubt it.

His wife watches, emotionless. The two children, in the tent, look vacant.

The mental stresses in this place are extreme. Suicide attempts are common.

As Hamoud is describing the torture, Abraham, our guide, breaks down.
Hamoud offers him water. The two men embrace. They are of different religions and from different countries but their predicament is the same.

In the centre of the camp, people push at an internal fence. They are waiting for their asylum appointments.

If the system was working as it was designed to, eligible people would be granted asylum swiftly and relocated in Europe. Those rejected would be returned to Turkey and home.

But since the EU deal with Turkey was signed 18 months ago, less than 1,500 have been sent back. In that time many thousands more have arrived over the Aegean Sea on flimsy dinghies.

The EU's quota system should see eligible refugees relocated into EU counties. But since the scheme was introduced in late 2015, only about 32,000 of the planned 160,000 have been successfully relocated.
Asylum applications, which should take weeks at most, are taking many months.

The island's mayor, Spiros Galinos, blames the Greek government and the EU in Brussels. He is taking legal action against the Greek government for negligence.

"It's the worst it has ever been; more people than ever, the situation is tragic in Moria. I think a state of emergency should be declared," he tells me.

He explains that although the number of people arriving on the islands was far higher back in 2015, the difference now is that far fewer are leaving.

"The biggest problem has been the geographical containment on the islands while asylum claims are processed," he explains.

Under the terms of the EU/Turkey deal, if migrants are taken to the mainland before being assessed for asylum, they can't be returned to Turkey if their claim is rejected.
So they are held on the islands. Recently though, there has been an effort to move the most vulnerable to the mainland.

But back in the camp everyone looks vulnerable.

We meet Mustaffa. He's from the Syrian town of Kerbane and has been here for two months. His asylum appointment, stage one of his journey forward (or back), is another month away.

He takes us down a corridor of blanketed cubicles to introduce his family.

In relative terms, it is comfortable. They've found space in the least bad part of the camp.

He pulls back the hanging blanket. Inside the tiny space are his five children and his wife. She is pregnant. The good news here is that they've seen a charity's doctor. But this is no place for a heavily-pregnant woman.

When I ask why they left Syria he says just 'Daesh' - the Islamic State. He pulls his finger across his throat.
There is basic medical care here. Abraham shows us the charity-run emergency clinic.

"For all this camp, maybe six or seven thousand people, only this room for the emergencies," he says.

There are other basic clinics for minor injuries and emergency cases are supposed to be sent to the island's small and inadequate hospital.

Still, in this camp, inside Europe, they are living in the most appalling conditions. Rotting rubbish is piled high literally everywhere.

What's striking, always, in places like this, is people's ability not just to smile but to maintain some sense of order where there is none.

"Welcome! My house!" an elderly man says, perched outside his tiny tent.
Mohammed is 61 and tells me he is a former major in the Syrian Army. He is here with his wife, his only surviving son and like so many, he has a serious medical condition. He produces his medical note, issued by a charity.

It reads: "Has diagnosis of benign prostatic hypoplasia. Progressive symptoms. Passes minimal urine. Has to go 20 times a day. Was waiting for TURP in Syria. No longer helping."

The lavatories here are horribly inadequate, filthy and rat infested.

For many, the problems are not physical but mental.

Nearby, two young men approach us. One is on a crutch with a deformed leg: a bomb injury he tells us. The other man produces his medical note. So many people here have them.

It's an encouraging feat that the charities have managed to see, and briefly assess, so many in need. But it is just the basic stuff. The people here need proper treatment - physically and mentally.
"Witnessed atrocities in Iraq. Best friend killed in explosion one month ago. Suicide attempt two weeks ago," the 20-year-old's note reads.

It is two years since the height of this migration crisis.

The human flow hasn't stopped and nor will it. It is the story of our time and with an impact yet to be understood.

The camp here is overflowing. More and more tents are pitched beyond the perimeter fence.

Greece is on the frontier and, plainly, it can't cope.

Source:Skynews

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the refugee families living among filth and faeces in camp in greece the refugee families living among filth and faeces in camp in greece

 



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