AYS Daily Digest 20/11/17: A warning and cry for help from the Aegean

tensions rise on the overcrowded underprepared Greek islands / Bulgaria doubles its refusals / Indignation of the refugees in the north of Italy due to unbearable state of the reception centres / The only reliable help in the north of France / Late surge of arrivals from the sea — prison in Spain as a provisional reception centre / Solidarity protest in Berlin / Another suicide in Morton Hall / …

Children in a refugee camp on a Greek island, November 2017. They are not playing to live there. (Photo taken from: 1951RefugeeConvention)


According to UNHCR data, the current number of refugees in lesvos is 10.484., however,the island only has a reception capacity of 1800 under acceptable conditions.
This situation is aggravated when the Greek government prevents these people from crossing into the Greek Peninsula (restriction of islands) until their situation is unregulated, which is against human rights.
The result of this is that the fields camps and detention centres, such as die, are completely overwhelmed, with the consequence that basic needs, such as food, health and education, are not covered. — Holes in the borders

by United Rescue Aid

It has been 20 days since the begining of the hunger strike by a group of refugees on Lesvos, the overcrowded island that keeps receiving more people (on Monday morning 39 people arrived) and new ways of handling the situation have not been developed, neither has any serious preparation for the winter there been set in motion.

About 7,000 refugees and immigrants from Moria’s camp (where the housing infrastructure is for 2,200 people while the water and sanitation network for 800) have woken up in the mud — among them more than 500 children under the age of 10 living in summer tents under the rain. As it became known, many of the children woke up with fever, after two rainy days now they are wet and live in the mud. Through social networking pages, doctors are urged to rush to offer their services “in the jungle of Moria”, the so-called camp, corresponding to that in the French Calais, known as the “Calais jungle” — from an article in the Greek press, translated by Sotiris Alexopoulos

Protests and fire broke in Moria camp last night.

The trouble started at around midnight when an argument between migrants escalated into a brawl and then into a general riot, resulting in the offices of the United Nations refugee agency and of another aid group on the site being vandalized.

The unrest abated following the intervention of riot police and a local prosecutor at around 4 a.m., media report

It seems like none of the responsibles in Moria Camp are prepared for any kind of emergency situation or alternative shelters. Amidst rain and tear gas, several families were brought to the nearby community centre of Humans 4 Humanity.

Weather gives the most dangerous of warnings about the situation


Bad weather conditions have forced the Maydayterraneo — Proyecto AitaMari emergency rescue service to land in Tunisia. They will have to wait for a while before getting back to the rescue zone.


Magnifying glass at the EU borders


Help to fill a container intended for Lesvos — contact

Food is ridiculously expensive on the Islands
We need a constant supply of baby milk

Coffee instant or ground
Condensed milk
Instant cappuccino
Instant hot chocolate
Lemon juice
Long life milk
Tea bags
Tinned chick peas
Tinned custard
Tinned green beans
Tinned kidney beans
Tinned mackerel
Tinned pineapple
Tinned sweet corn
Tinned tomatoes
Tinned white beans
Tomato puree
Vegetable stock cubes

Body lotion
Eye shadow, eyeliner and mascara, lip gloss and lipstick (non essential but the women often ask and it’s so nice to give them something that makes them feel good)
Face cream for women
Hair gel for men (for the same reason as above)
Shower gel

Underwear and socks all ages and genders

Clothing needs
men’s shoes, men’s jackets, men’s trousers in smaller sizes, men’s sweatshirts, hoodies and long sleeved t-shirts, hats scarves and gloves mostly men’s, rucksacks, sleeping bags

The Greek locals also protest

The main demand of the islanders is to “unblock the approximately 8,500 refugees and migrants living in structures in Mytilene area of 32,000 inhabitants”.

Immediately release all those people who are entrapped in Lesvos and live in miserable conditions. Lesvos is not an open prison, nor will anyone be allowed to see it as such.

Greek law regulates the detention of asylum seekers


Less asylum seekers, harder conditions and more refusals

A person given refugee status has a deadline of two weeks to leave the refugee centre, and is expected to find work and start earning a living.


“ To all our refugee friends in Serbia, this Saturday we are launching our gardening project! RAS got allocated a plot in Baštalište, the community garden of Belgrade. This Saturday 25th of november, we will garden together and prepare the plot for the winter. It’s an excellent chance to meet people, we will have food together and a small party. We are meeting in the morning and go to the garden together. If you want to come, please contact Cesar on +381 61 16 57 048 (Also whatsapp). We hope to see you there!” — Refugee Aid Serbia

The Workshop: Belgrade is a joint project by NorthStar and Refugee Aid Serbia. At the Workshop, they provide Art, English, Math, German, and Serbian classes for asylum seekers residing in Belgrade.

We are open from 2–7pm Monday-Friday. If you are interested in attending classes or volunteering with us, please send us a message!


Sleeping rough ahead of the worsening weather conditions — help needed

Gorizia, area close to the border with Slovenia (Photos: Mauro Chiarabba)

Volunteer groups from the region, backed by international volunteers who recently started helping more often in the area, are all struggling to provide at least the basic amenities to the stranded refugees.
They need and accept help, but before any possible action you and your group might plan, please refer to their lists and recommendation and always contact some of the volunteer groups from the area so as to help in the best possible way. Some recommendations you should consider before planning a trip and bringing help to any of the places in the area can be found here.

Forgotten at the reception centres

Some rooms without glass windows, there is no hot water to wash, there is no heating, many bathrooms are as in the photos.

Photos: Mauro Chiarabba

Food is one of the main problems as well. Volunteers report that both in

Gorizia (the photo of pasta portions given to the residents of Nazarene centre) and in other centres the food is the same and not nearly good enough in quality or quantity to suffice and be given as a daily meal, so the groups providing food in these areas struggle with that as well.

Desperation driving refugees in the streets

The local mayor has reportedly said that all they live there is a situation of suffering and a poor life, both for the approximately 1200 refugees and for the 160 local residents.


The Spanish Government has decided to transfer 519 recently arrived migrants who have arrived to Cartagena earlier on 49 vessels. More than 900 people have arrived since last Thursday. The photos show the facility in Archidona where the people who have fled their countries are supposed to be lodged, as in a provisional CIE centre. It is a prison whose opening has reportedly been delayed due to access problems and the lack of drinking water.
The 37 people who had declared themselves minors in the age from 14 to 17 have been transfered to a facility for minors El Peñasco in the coastal area of Mazarrón, where their age is to be determined.


Support the group and individual efforts in Calais and Dunkirk


“Every day we use: 75–100kg Dried Beans/Pulses
180kg Basmati Rice or Pasta or 250kg Potatoes
150kg Onions
5kg Garlic
5kg Ginger
30L Sunflower Oil
5L Olive Oil
8kg Spices & chilli
100kg Salad Veg
100kg Veg + Potatoes for Curry — That’s A LOT of food! Please share & give what you can so that we can keep serving nourishing meals to people in need!” — RCK


Taking teeth out in the cold is not nice at all
Just got back from France Dunkirk
The situation there is a 5 stars hotel if you are asking
Couldn’t even operate from a caravan as the police keep moving them
So we had to set up somewhere where the crowd is
So desperate families still live in tents in this horrible weather
You can see that I was freezing by just standing there and seriously I don’t know how they can do it

Photos and quoted comment: Raid Ali


Isolated, not speaking the language, tired and poorly informed, the refugees need to fight a really strong psychological stress they are facing.
Because we believe that talking to people, surfing the internet, getting to know their rights or amusing themselves for some time is just as important as having food, we need your support to continue the project Good Vibes InfoBus.
L’Auberge des Migrants



Protest in Berlin

The organizers have formed their solidarity protest to demand:
Implementation of the relocation and ensuring family reunification
Solidarity with the hunger strikers in Athens
No deportations to Turkey
Fighting causes of the forced migrations, not the refugees


Another suicide at Morton Hall

Earlier this year, we wrote about the serious shortcomings of the UK refugee and asylum seekers’ reception and detention system, specifically on the example of the Morton Hall Immigration Removal centre in Lincolnshire.
As we mentioned back then, there were clear evidence of very bad mental issues among the residents as nearly half the detainees told the inspectors they felt depressed or suicidal on arriving at Morton Hall.

We strive to echo correct news from the ground through collaboration and fairness.

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Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

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