Doctors Without Borders urges EU to review policy on receiving migrants
Friday, 22 November 2019
The non-governmental organisation, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières – MSF), has called on the European Union to overhaul its policy on receiving migrants and the accord it has concluded with Turkey.
“Four years after the signing of the pact with Turkey, 35,000 persons live on the Greek islands in a situation of total chaos and unworthy conditions,” MSF International President Christos Christou said on Friday.
The situation there is comparable to the worst conditions in refugee camps worldwide, he said after a visit to the camps in Lesbos and Samos, adding that these camps needed to be closed as quickly as possible and the refugees transferred to continental Europe.
This has nothing to do with the principle of humanity, even though this is a European value, Dr. Christou argued. Torture victims, people suffering from mental illness and children receive too little care, and some refugees have been living in plastic tents for two years now, he said.
He also criticised Greek Government plans to set up closed centres on the islands. “Sooner or later, they’re going to become prisons,” he said, noting that the decision to transfer thousands of people to the continent would also not bring about a fundamental improvement since “there is not enough adequate housing.”