Migration through the Mediterranean : which European responses ?
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Greece: another off-shore migrant camp evacuated
While the UN and NGOs have become increasingly alarmed over the past months about the living conditions of the migrants and refugees in Aegean Sea migrant camps, on the 18th of September the Greek government announced they would be evacuating approximately 2,000 people by the end of the month.
According to UNICEF, there are 20,500 people living in overpopulated and insalubrious camps on the islands of Lesvos, Samos, Chios and Kos. 9,000 people, including more than 1,700 children, live in the Moria camp in Lesvos, despite a capacity of only 3,100. UNICEF have stressed that the number of children on these Greek islands has increased by 32% since last year.
This camp was even labelled “a danger to public health and the environment” by Greek inspectors, who warned that it would be closed down if the government did nothing to improve it. In response to these developments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called on the Greek authorities to accelerate their evacuation procedures towards the continent.
Alexis Tsipras’ government responded to this by announcing the transfer of 2,000 people currently staying in Moria by the end of September, with around one hundred having left the island on the 21st.
This article was originally published in September in the “Veille Europe” of France terre d’asile, available in French HERE.