Posts tagged migrants

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:Migrants in the Gourougou are mostly young men from West Africa who say they had to leave home due to poverty and no hopes of finding a job. In Europe, they say, they have dreams of getting education and earning money to send home to their families. Morocco 2012 © Anna Surinyach
Migrants in Morocco: “We Live Like Prehistoric Men”
In northwestern Morocco, in the forests of Gourougou Mountain, several hundred African migrants are living covertly in remote makeshift camps, struggling to survive, and waiting for an opportunity to enter Europe.
They are mostly young men from West African countries who have left their homes because they had no way to make money and who have left behind family members who are reliant on them, in the hopes of sending back support.
Having gained the trust of these migrants, who hide because they are frequently targeted by the authorities, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) conducts monthly mobile medical clinics to their camps, providing primary health care, distributions, and psychological support.

Photo:Migrants in the Gourougou are mostly young men from West Africa who say they had to leave home due to poverty and no hopes of finding a job. In Europe, they say, they have dreams of getting education and earning money to send home to their families. Morocco 2012 © Anna Surinyach

Migrants in Morocco: “We Live Like Prehistoric Men”

In northwestern Morocco, in the forests of Gourougou Mountain, several hundred African migrants are living covertly in remote makeshift camps, struggling to survive, and waiting for an opportunity to enter Europe.

They are mostly young men from West African countries who have left their homes because they had no way to make money and who have left behind family members who are reliant on them, in the hopes of sending back support.

Having gained the trust of these migrants, who hide because they are frequently targeted by the authorities, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) conducts monthly mobile medical clinics to their camps, providing primary health care, distributions, and psychological support.

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.

Interview: Fighting Neglected Diseases Among Italy’s Migrant Populations

Since early 2012, more than 1,000 migrants have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, Sicily by boat from Libya. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is monitoring the humanitarian and medical situation and providing screening and treatment for tuberculosis and Chagas disease, two neglected diseases to which migrants are particularly vulnerable. In this interview, Dr. Silvia Garelli, MSF head of mission in Italy, discusses MSF’s activities there and the health challenges migrants face.What is MSF currently doing to help migrants in Italy?
The conditions and health situation faced by migrants without papers in the centers for identification and expulsion continue to be extremely dire, and the situation has been aggravated by an extension of the detention period up to 18 months. Health services at these are subcontracted to private firms instead of being provided by the Ministry of Public Health, and a lack of effective coordination is causing problems that directly affect patients. For example, diseases such as tuberculosis that must be detected very early are poorly diagnosed and treated among migrants, despite the existence of national protocols. Outside of the centers, MSF has identified another medical need that primarily affects migrants (in this case, those from Latin America) and that is not covered by the national system at all: diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease. Chagas is caused by a parasite transmitted to humans by the bite of insects especially prevalent in Latin America.Read the rest of the interview here.Photo: Night view of Mineo, an asylum-seeker’s village where MSF provides mental health care for migrants.

Italy 2011 © Mattia Insolera

Interview: Fighting Neglected Diseases Among Italy’s Migrant Populations

Since early 2012, more than 1,000 migrants have arrived on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, Sicily by boat from Libya. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is monitoring the humanitarian and medical situation and providing screening and treatment for tuberculosis and Chagas disease, two neglected diseases to which migrants are particularly vulnerable. In this interview, Dr. Silvia Garelli, MSF head of mission in Italy, discusses MSF’s activities there and the health challenges migrants face.

What is MSF currently doing to help migrants in Italy?

The conditions and health situation faced by migrants without papers in the centers for identification and expulsion continue to be extremely dire, and the situation has been aggravated by an extension of the detention period up to 18 months. Health services at these are subcontracted to private firms instead of being provided by the Ministry of Public Health, and a lack of effective coordination is causing problems that directly affect patients. For example, diseases such as tuberculosis that must be detected very early are poorly diagnosed and treated among migrants, despite the existence of national protocols. Outside of the centers, MSF has identified another medical need that primarily affects migrants (in this case, those from Latin America) and that is not covered by the national system at all: diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease. Chagas is caused by a parasite transmitted to humans by the bite of insects especially prevalent in Latin America.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Photo: Night view of Mineo, an asylum-seeker’s village where MSF provides mental health care for migrants.
Italy 2011 © Mattia Insolera

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.

This report from AFP shows MSF teams treating African workers trapped in Libya. You can read more on this issue on our website: Migrants Trapped in Tripoli Need Aid and Protection

Since I arrived in Mineo, all I do is walk in circles. It’s like we’re in jail here. For two months we’ve been told that we should get our papers soon, but nothing happens. Time is passing by and I don’t even know how my family can feed themselves or survive without me. I can’t stop thinking about them and it makes me really ill. Sometimes I am so worried that I can’t eat.

Abdul, 42, from Niger, living in the Mineo reception center

The war in Libya is not only having an impact on Libyan nationals, but also on the 2.5 million migrants who have come there to work or live or are passing through to reach another destination.

Learn more:
Trapped in Transit: The Neglected Victims of the War in Libya

I spent four months in prison in Libya. I was beaten every day. For three weeks I could not stand up. I still suffer from my injuries. I had to bury seven people, including three pregnant girls. If you did not do it, you were thrown alive in the hole along with the corpses.

Abdul, 23, from Ivory Coast, living in Shousha camp

The war in Libya is not only having an impact on Libyan nationals, but also on the 2.5 million migrants who have come there to work or live or are passing through to reach another destination. Learn more.

At first, we felt welcome, we had hope. But how long can this last? We have been here for months. People are under a lot of stress. They have lost family members, their belongings, their papers. They are losing their minds and want to get out of this camp as quickly as they can.

Emmanuel, 40, from Democratic Republic of Congo, living in Shousha camp

The war in Libya is not only having an impact on Libyan nationals, but also on the 2.5 million migrants who have come there to work or live or are passing through to reach another destination. Learn more.

MSF works in the inner-city slums of Johannesburg, the destination point for many survival migrants seeking opportunity, transit, or simply to hide among Joburg’s millions of inhabitants. But finding safe shelter here is extremely challenging.

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(Source: doctorswithoutborders.org)

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.
We provided medical support to a woman who had given birth to her child just six days before. She was arrested by the police forces and spent five days in a police cell with her newborn child. Then she was taken back to the border.

Jorge Martin, MSF’s head of mission in Morocco

Full Article.

Morocco: Expelled Migrants Left in Precarious State

Hundreds of migrants, including women and children, have been deported to a no-man’s land at the border between Morocco and Algeria, abandoned there during the night without food and water.

MSF Postcards Series: Migrants write home from Malta and Morocco

Two new stories of people who left their home countries in search of safety, peace, and decent living conditions from our “Postcards from Migrants in Malta and Morocco” series.

Postcards from Migrants in Malta and Morocco

Through “Postcards from Migrants in Malta and Morocco”, we are sharing the stories of men and women who left their home countries in search of safety, peace, and decent living conditions. Check it out!