Stand By Me Lesvos

We are the People of Moria

Today is the World Refugee Day, a day to create awareness.

And we will do exactly that: for the past week we have been around Moria camp asking for statements about what it means to be a resident of Moria. We have asked about what they themselves want to express. We ask, where is the UNHCR? These videos are statements of our story. We only ask that you take the time to listen.

As a refugee, we have rights, but those rights are not granted!
We have universal human rights in accordance of the 1948 Geneva Convention, we have rights in accordance with the 1951 Refugee Convention – but they are not given to us.
We want to make clear that Moria is NOT a refugee camp – it is a hotspot. We were promised by the EU-Turkey deal to only stay here for 3 weeks maximum. Now some stay here for a year, others for years!

We do not have proper housing or shelter. We do not have sufficient water. We do not have adequate access to medical assistance and care. We are not well protected. Our children are not receiving education. We are here losing precious time of our lives.
Where is the UN to defend our rights?
Is this the Europe we risked our lives for?

Today is World Refugee Day, a day to create awareness.
This is our situation: we are still in lockdown in this summer heat, where we do not have enough water for drink or for shower. We cannot go down to beach to cool down, even though the beach is close because we respect the lockdown. We have had a lockdown on Camp since March. It is illogical to still have lockdown now, after not having a single confirmed case of Covid-19 inside camp, we still have lockdown over a month after the rest of Greece opened. After cooperating and respecting the measures by government in this time of crisis, then we are not even given an explanation to understand why we still have this lockdown only for the camp.

In an attempt to reduce number of people in Camps, then they are given a blue stamp. It means they can get an identity card IF they can get house and job. But for job they must speak Greek and have house. For house they must have job. Only after this can you get an identity card. So many of us had hoped to see this day but only to discover that it would make our lives even more difficult.
Many people with blue stamps were told they must spend money from their own budget and go to Athens where there exists no plan for them. Sadly we see that people go from conditions which are bad to even worse. People are now forced into crowded homelessness in Victoria Platz in Athens. This is why some feel coerced to seek illegal alternatives just to survive. Where are our rights? Where is the humanity? It is worse than a Zoo! Because there, the animals receive protection, shelter, food and medical assistance. Where does that leave us? What are we, beyond the title of refugees? Are we not considered as human beings?

Since months everyone is talking about the hell of Moria. And? Anything happens? We don’t see. And we are just a small number of the millions of refugees worldwide whose sitiation is getting worse and worse every year. We read we are 80 Million this year. Well next year maybe 100?

We say that this is not a day to be celebrated.

→ Video statements

Moria Corona Awareness Team, Moria White Helmets, Leros Refugee Youth Group, Stand By Me Lesvos.


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