Posts tagged greece

Photo by Juan Carlos Tomasi
In a country where people are already struggling, refugees and migrants have become “invisible” to much of Greek society. Thousands have been arrested and imprisoned in detention centers where they live in appalling conditions with little or no access to medical care. Most of the migrants who come through northern Greece’s Evros region are from Afghanistan, like these children, while others come from Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh and Somalia. A Doctors Without Borders emergency team has been working at three border police stations where migrants are received and at the Filakio detention center, where many are detained. Read more: http://bit.ly/19InPQT

Photo by Juan Carlos Tomasi

In a country where people are already struggling, refugees and migrants have become “invisible” to much of Greek society. Thousands have been arrested and imprisoned in detention centers where they live in appalling conditions with little or no access to medical care. Most of the migrants who come through northern Greece’s Evros region are from Afghanistan, like these children, while others come from Pakistan, Syria, Bangladesh and Somalia. A Doctors Without Borders emergency team has been working at three border police stations where migrants are received and at the Filakio detention center, where many are detained. Read more: http://bit.ly/19InPQT

Photo: Greece and the island of Lesvos 2012 © Google
Deadly Voyage Highlights Risks to Migrants and Refugees Arriving in Greece
The sinking of a boat believed to be carrying 28 people near the Greek island of Lesvos on December 14 highlights the dangers of a recent increase in maritime crossings to the Aegean Islands.
The death toll from the latest incident stands at 21, with six other people missing and only one confirmed survivor, an 18-year-old man. The majority of new arrivals over the last few months are Afghan and Syrian nationals, including many families with young children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable people. MSF teams providing medical assistance in the Aegean Islands report that migrants arrive in a state of extreme fatigue and are very frightened because of the difficult conditions they experienced on the voyage.
“The experience of the journey and of the arrival to a new unfamiliar environment seems to be an especially traumatic experience, particularly for children,” said Marianthi Papagianni, a medical doctor and a member of the MSF team in Lesvos. “In addition to obvious health risks—primarily upper respiratory tract infections, hypothermia, lack of appropriate food—the impact on children’s mental health is something which should not be underestimated.”
Children may lose a parent on the trip, fall into the water or witness a drowning, Papagianni said. “Upon their arrival, they are scared, silent, ready to attach themselves to the first person that will give them a smile,” she said.
In cooperation with local health services and authorities, MSF has been responding to the urgent medical and humanitarian needs of migrants and refugees arriving in Greece’s Aegean Islands and in the Evros region since 2008. In August, when Greek authorities enhanced border control measures in Evros, MSF teams noticed a dramatic decline in the arrivals of migrants and refugees there, and a considerable increase in arrivals in the Aegean Islands.The MSF team in Lesvos consists of one doctor, two interpreters and one administrator. MSF is also providing medical supplies and basic relief items to people arriving on other islands through a network of local actors.

Photo: Greece and the island of Lesvos 2012 © Google

Deadly Voyage Highlights Risks to Migrants and Refugees Arriving in Greece

The sinking of a boat believed to be carrying 28 people near the Greek island of Lesvos on December 14 highlights the dangers of a recent increase in maritime crossings to the Aegean Islands.

The death toll from the latest incident stands at 21, with six other people missing and only one confirmed survivor, an 18-year-old man. The majority of new arrivals over the last few months are Afghan and Syrian nationals, including many families with young children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable people. MSF teams providing medical assistance in the Aegean Islands report that migrants arrive in a state of extreme fatigue and are very frightened because of the difficult conditions they experienced on the voyage.

“The experience of the journey and of the arrival to a new unfamiliar environment seems to be an especially traumatic experience, particularly for children,” said Marianthi Papagianni, a medical doctor and a member of the MSF team in Lesvos. “In addition to obvious health risks—primarily upper respiratory tract infections, hypothermia, lack of appropriate food—the impact on children’s mental health is something which should not be underestimated.”

Children may lose a parent on the trip, fall into the water or witness a drowning, Papagianni said. “Upon their arrival, they are scared, silent, ready to attach themselves to the first person that will give them a smile,” she said.

In cooperation with local health services and authorities, MSF has been responding to the urgent medical and humanitarian needs of migrants and refugees arriving in Greece’s Aegean Islands and in the Evros region since 2008. In August, when Greek authorities enhanced border control measures in Evros, MSF teams noticed a dramatic decline in the arrivals of migrants and refugees there, and a considerable increase in arrivals in the Aegean Islands.

The MSF team in Lesvos consists of one doctor, two interpreters and one administrator. MSF is also providing medical supplies and basic relief items to people arriving on other islands through a network of local actors.

Greece: Extreme Weather Conditions Cause Suffering for Migrants in Border Police Stations

The constant arrival of migrants in Greece’s Evros region, coupled with the extreme weather conditions of the past few weeks, has put pressure on the already fragile system for receiving migrants in the border police stations of Soufli, Tychero, and Feres, and in the detention center of Filakio.

“The newly arrived migrants were spending up to a day in waiting areas in freezing temperatures,” says Antonio Virgilio, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders operations in Greece.

“Migrants have already suffered harsh conditions on their journeys to cross the border,” he added. “Once in Greece, they had to wait for hours, without warm clothes to protect them from the extreme cold, and sometimes without receiving a medical check-up from Ministry of Health doctors.”

There is no heating in the waiting areas of the three Evros border police stations, and migrants are not provided with extra clothes, sleeping bags, survival blankets, or other means of keeping warm. “The reception conditions are unacceptable,” says Virgilio.

An emergency team from MSF has been responding to the migrants’ immediate needs in the three border police stations and in Filakio detention center. The team is on call 24 hours a day, conducting medical triage and providing migrants with warm clothes, sleeping bags, survival blankets, and hygiene kits. During the first four days of intervention, the MSF team assisted 125 migrants, including women and children, who arrived shivering, exhausted, and complaining of pain in their legs.Greece 2011 © MSF
A small Afghan child, one of the many newly arrived migrants in the Evros region, is detained in a border police station.

Greece: Extreme Weather Conditions Cause Suffering for Migrants in Border Police Stations

The constant arrival of migrants in Greece’s Evros region, coupled with the extreme weather conditions of the past few weeks, has put pressure on the already fragile system for receiving migrants in the border police stations of Soufli, Tychero, and Feres, and in the detention center of Filakio.

“The newly arrived migrants were spending up to a day in waiting areas in freezing temperatures,” says Antonio Virgilio, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders operations in Greece.

“Migrants have already suffered harsh conditions on their journeys to cross the border,” he added. “Once in Greece, they had to wait for hours, without warm clothes to protect them from the extreme cold, and sometimes without receiving a medical check-up from Ministry of Health doctors.”

There is no heating in the waiting areas of the three Evros border police stations, and migrants are not provided with extra clothes, sleeping bags, survival blankets, or other means of keeping warm. “The reception conditions are unacceptable,” says Virgilio.

An emergency team from MSF has been responding to the migrants’ immediate needs in the three border police stations and in Filakio detention center. The team is on call 24 hours a day, conducting medical triage and providing migrants with warm clothes, sleeping bags, survival blankets, and hygiene kits. During the first four days of intervention, the MSF team assisted 125 migrants, including women and children, who arrived shivering, exhausted, and complaining of pain in their legs.

Greece 2011 © MSF A small Afghan child, one of the many newly arrived migrants in the Evros region, is detained in a border police station.

Greece: Migrants’ Medical Problems Due To Inhumane Detention Conditions

Inhumane living and hygiene conditions in detention facilities in the Evros region in Greece are causing major health problems for migrants and asylum seekers living there, according to a report issued today by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).

Medical data collected by MSF reveal that more than 60 percent of the migrants’ medical conditions are directly caused by or linked to the degrading conditions. Out of the 1,809 patients treated by MSF doctors between December 2010 and March 2011, 1,147 were diagnosed with respiratory tract infections, body pains, diarrhea, gastrointestinal disorders, psychological conditions, and skin diseases. Full press release.

No human being should be subjected to such treatment. Every day we are seeing people who are obliged to stay for weeks or even for months in extremely overcrowded and squalid cells, without the right to go out in the yard. There are so many people detained that they don’t have the space to even lie down in the cells, while the heating often does not work, leaving migrants freezing in sub-zero temperatures.
Ioanna Pertsinidou, MSF’s emergency coordinator on the unbearable and inhumane conditions of migrants detained in Greece. Learn more.
…other people live on the border between Iran and Turkey, they get migrants and keep them there. They say, “Give me a number from any country.” So when they give the number they call their families saying “Put that much money into this bank account.” This is happening with everybody. If they dont’ get the money they cut fingers, they cut noses, they cut ears.
A man from Pakistan speaks about the perilous journey many migrants make to leave their war-torn homelands, only to wind up detained for months in Greece and other countries. Hear him speak in this video.

Many migrants who leave war-torn homelands thinking better days await in Europe make a perilous journey westward only to wind up detained for months in Greece and other countries.