On September 8 the fire broke out at Moira camp and destroyed the biggest camp in Europe, leaving over 12,000 people without any shelter. The scale of human tragedy in Moria camp unveiled the insufficiency of the EU and national asylum policies, highlighted political crisis, divisions and reluctance in asylum responsibility sharing within the EU member states.
We strongly believe that it is a time for a change and urgent turn in migration and asylum policies towards new standards and attitudes that will respect human rights and dignity, ensure safety and improve reception and asylum mechanisms.
The Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw together with human rights and civic organisations across Europe has signed the online petition: Moria fire: Call for urgent evacuation and radical change. The initiative was launched by Europe Must Act together with Seebrücke.
Moria fire: Call for urgent evacuation and radical change.
Together we are calling on European leaders to act now. The fire in Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesvos was a disaster waiting to happen. The biggest refugee camp in Europe has gone up in flames, leaving over 12,000 people without shelter, amidst the global pandemic. The European migration policies that trap people in inhumane conditions across the Greek islands must end.
Moria camp was more than an overcrowded and unsafe camp. It had become a symbol of how Europe treats people on the move. For years, we have witnessed the harmful impact of European policies on people’s lives: appalling conditions in camps on the islands, numerous deaths at sea, violence and pushbacks at the borders of Europe.
The European Union is at a critical turning point, soon presenting a ‘fresh start’ on migration (in the form of a new Migration and Asylum Pact). The whole world witnessed the fire at Moria: European leaders and the European Commission must
realise that enough is enough. Those who have the power to make decisions in the next days, weeks and months have a historic responsibility.
Join us in calling on European leaders and the European Commission to:
● Immediately evacuate all people who had to flee Moria camp. Basic human rights to shelter, food, sanitation facilities and healthcare cannot be upheld on Lesvos or the other Greek islands. Urgently decongest the islands and focus on relocation across Europe.
● Abandon any future approach to migration that would again trap people in inhumane conditions in camps on islands (or facilities at borders), awaiting a decision on their asylum claim. The policy of restricting asylum seekers movement from the islands to mainland Greece has to end.
● Implement migration policies that ensure protection, as opposed to exclusion.
This requires increased solidarity and responsibility sharing between European countries, and an end to systematic human rights abuses at the borders.
The need for action has never before been more urgent.