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As the two-year anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal nears on March 18, 2018, thousands of asylum seekers are trapped on the Aegean islands in deplorable conditions and without access to adequate protection and basic services, nine humans rights and humanitarian organisations including Oxfam said today.The Greek government should act immediately to end the containment policy that traps asylum seekers in these conditions on the islands and move them to safety on the mainland.
More than 13,500 refugees and other migrants remain trapped on the Greek islands in deplorable conditions as winter begins, a coalition of 13 NGOs including Oxfam said today. Oxfam calls on the Greek government and its EU partners to transfer immediately at least 5,500 asylum seekers from the squalid island camps to the Greek mainland.
The Greek government has said it intends to transfer 5,000 people from the Greek islands to the mainland before the start of winter. This is a very positive step that will save lives, but thousands remain at risk from freezing conditions and the Greek government and EU must end the containment policy immediately, Oxfam said.
The Greek government, with the support of EU leaders, should act now before the onset of winter to end Greece’s “containment policy,” 13 human rights and humanitarian organizations said in a campaign that began today.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras should end the Greek government’s “containment policy” of confining asylum seekers to the Aegean islands, 19 human rights and humanitarian aid organizations said in an open letter released today.
Oxfam has today suspended all of its operations in the Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesvos, in response to the deteriorating treatment of migrants due to the recent deal struck between the EU and Turkey. The Greek authorities are transforming reception facilities into detention centers, where people will be held pending their mass return to Turkey.