Statement on Moria refugee camp in Greece

15 Sep 2020

Lesbos Refugee camp

Congress strongly associates itself with the statement issued today by the ETUC and a range of civil society groups calling on European Governments to urgently relocate displaced individuals from Greece.

On Wednesday 9th September, tragedy struck on the Greek Island of Lesbos when the Moria Refugee Camp burned to the ground. It had housed around 13,000 migrants and refugees who had been living in squalor and overcrowded conditions, many of them desperate to the leave the island. Families have now been sleeping in fields and on roads after fleeing the blaze at the camp. Over the last number of weeks authorities have imposed several restrictions due to the rising levels of COVID-19 in the camp.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions Global Solidarity Committee is gravely concerned with the humanitarian situation that has been worsened by the recent fire in the Moria Camp. It believes that the Irish Government must join other governments in playing an active role in Europe’s response to this situation.

Congress International Officer, David Joyce said: “It is urgent that the Irish Government must act to commit to taking unaccompanied minors along with women travelling alone and with small children, as they represent a specific humanitarian need amongst refugee communities in Europe.”

The shameful situation in the camp and the fire disaster are the direct result of a failed European refugee policy-now the EU must finally help the people affected.

Congress Global Solidarity Committee Chairperson, Yvonne O’Callaghan added: We acknowledge that the Irish government has recognised that a major humanitarian emergency now exists on the island of Lesbos. We expect the Irish government to act with urgency on this matter”.

(Pic NY Times)