Respect for human rights must be at the centre of the government's response
Following the fire in Moria, on Lesbos, which destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre, 31 civil society organisations, including ActionAid Hellas, call on the Greek government to immediately provide assistance to people who lost their shelter. Those affected, among them many children and at-risk groups, should be carefully transferred to safety on the mainland.
The transfer of at-risk groups, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with medical and mental health conditions, and older people, should be prioritised. People who tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19 should be given safe housing for the quarantine period, health care, and hospitalisation if necessary.
Moving people from Lesbos to mainland Greece requires finding urgent solutions to address the fact that many current housing facilities for refugees and asylum seekers are at full capacity. We urge the Greek authorities to work on a coherent plan that maximises all available resources, including those from the European Union, and we renew our call to European leaders to share the responsibility for the reception and support of asylum seekers now more than ever.
In these difficult times, it is of utmost importance that respect for human rights is at the centre of the response to the fire at Moria, and that authorities do not resort to use of force or inflammatory language, but take appropriate steps to de-escalate any risk of violence.
List of signatories:
Boat Refugee Foundation
Equal Rights Beyond Borders
Fenix – Humanitarian Legal Aid
Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
Hellenic League for Human Rights
Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη)
Humanitarian Legal Aid
Human Rights Watch
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Legal Centre Lesvos
Médecins Sans Frontières
Network for Children’s Rights
Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)
Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)
Refugee Trauma Initiative
Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece
Terre des hommes Hellas
The HOME Project