Migrant organizations on Lesbos: “Animals have more rights than asylum seekers”

Lesbos migrantsPhoto: Ann Fredriksen / NTB
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According to NGOs on the island, asylum seekers living in the temporary Kara Tepe camp on Lesbos have fewer rights than animals in Europe.

“We have studied the laws that protect animals in Europe. We have found that they have more rights than us. We ask you to give us the same rights animals have,” the Moria Corona Awareness Team and Moria White Helmets wrote in a Christmas letter to the citizens of Europe and the European Commission’s leader Ursula von der Leyen.

More than 7,000 people have been living in the 320-acre Kara Tepe tent camp on Lesbos since September when the permanent Moria camp burned down.

Although safety has improved, the volunteer groups describe the situation as occasionally worse than before the fire in September. 

At the same time, they point out that they have not been able to organize leisure activities and schooling for the children in the camp.

Animal rights

They also point out that there is still too little hot water for the showers, too little lighting, insufficient medical support, and no heaters despite millions of euros in aid.

“If we get sick, we have to wait for hours to get treatment, and despite the fact that we have had enough food, it is not very healthy,” the groups write in the letter.

“None of us have the opportunities to live normally… We all live in fear and distress.”

New camp in 2021

The Greek Ministry of Migration says the Kara Tepe camp, which was built days after the Moria fire, is temporary. 

It will be replaced by a new EU-funded permanent camp, which will accommodate up to 5,000 people, by 2021.

On Christmas Eve, the Ministry said that the EU had given an extra EUR 10 million to build another ten health stations in the camp.

According to a press release from the European Commission earlier in December, the new permanent camp will provide residents with a better offer than the overcrowded Moria camp, which was a converted military camp with four times as many people as it was intended for.

The volunteers in the camp say that they are eager to help improve the situation in the camp.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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