STATEMENT ON GREECE
4TH MARCH 2020
In recent weeks we have all seen reports of an alarming escalation of the situation in Greece, particularly on the Aegean Islands and at the land border with Turkey. Some of you have been in touch with us saying that you want to do something to help, but feel powerless about the situation. We feel the same way, so we have put together some information that we gathered from our sources on the ground and various agencies who are working in Greece. Hopefully it will be useful. You can read it here. This report is published on this site along with a video of the “Greece NGO/Grassroots Disconnect” discussion that took place at the Refugee Solidarity Summit 2020.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
There are several campaigns that we can support remotely or in person which are calling for an urgent humanitarian response to the worsening situation in Greece.
PROTEST 10TH MARCH – GREEK EMBASSY LONDON
EUROPE MUST ACT CAMPAIGN
This Open Letter, calling for the immediate decongestion of the Aegean Islands has now been signed by 120 NGOs and over 23,000 individuals. It calls on EU leaders to 1) immediately decongest the islands, 2) provide EU-led support to Greece’s management of Reception and Identification Centres, and 3) create a fair and robust system of supporting Greece through teams of legal, medical and protection staff, supplied on a rotating basis by the Member States.
“After 5 years of neglectful policy, Europe must act according to its values to defend the human rights of refugees,” says Matthias Mertens, Campaign Coordinator of Europe Must Act. “Greece is not a ‘shield’, as the European President claimed yesterday, but a place of law and safe passage. We need action, not hollow and coldhearted analogies.”
If you want to lend your voice to the Europe Must Act Campaign you can do so:
If you want to lend the support of your organisation please do so via the document linked here.
If you are an individual who would like to add your name to the campaign there is a petition which is gathering momentum here.
One of the ways to challenge the current status quo is to work to ensure that people do not have to undertake dangerous journeys either across the Aegean to Greece or across the Central Mediterranean. Many organisations are already engaged in doing this by trying to expand resettlement places as well as access to family reunion, however this is a collation and all organisations are welcome. Many of the organisations who attended The Summit last month are already part of the Families Together Coalition but if your organisation is not yet part of that campaign, you can sign up here.
SAFE PASSAGE have issued an urgent plea to the Government to accept unaccompanied child refugees direct from Greece you can support the campaign here.
They are also campaigning for safe and legal routes to passage for unaccompanied minors is one of the most powerful and effective ways that you can led your support to the efforts to put pressure on the UK government to take responsibility and act in a humanitarian manner towards child refugees. Safe Passage have a live campaign on family reunification which you can add your support to here.
If you would like more detailed information on the situation and on our feelings about it, please read the detailed report here.