AYS Daily Digest 21/12/17: Pace of transfers from the islands to the mainland needs to accelerate

Greek islands remain overcrowded / Refugees cross dangerous mountain path between Italy and France / City workers in Paris continue to throw away tents / Belgian government suspends deportation of Sudanese refugees amidst reports of torture / And more news…

Photo by One Happy Family — Community Center, Lesvos

FEATURE: Greek islands remain overcrowded

Human Rights Watch again urged the Greek government to speed up transfers from the Aegean islands to the mainland, warning that overcrowded facilities on Lesvos, Chios, Leros, Samos, and Kos are ill-equipped to deal with the coming of winter. The hot spots on the islands still have almost 11,000 people in facilities with a total capacity of just 5,576.

While some people are being transferred from the islands to the mainland, including 86 on Wednesday, others continue arriving, including 254 to Lesvos from Wednesday to Thursday. Medico says conditions on Lesvos are now ‘life-threatening,’ with newly-arrived refugees sleeping in camping tents, children walking barefoot between garbage and sewage, and a lack of warm water or place to get warm.

The conditions are unsanitary and there is a lack of quality food. Families lost everything during the recent fights, including their tents and most valuable possessions, and were forced to to seek shelter in a warehouse. Meanwhile, the One Happy Familly community centre is looking for donations. The team is cooking between 450 and 980 meals per day and €12,000 finances their kitchen for one month. The group is operated jointly by refugees and volunteers, and provides other activites as well.

The No Border Kitchen is also looking for funds to continue its work in January.


New measures to protect the homeless in Athens


Refugees cross dangerous mountain pass

“When we told them we would have led them back to Bardonecchia, they refused to come with us and they left, we told them they would have put their lives in danger, they were wearing sneakers and track suits and they were soaked. We cleared the ground from the snow, so that they could put their feet out of it, and then they started walking again and we kept an eye on them up to Colle della Scala tunnel.”

Right after that, the Alpine rescuers saw three minors from Ivory Coast heading to Colle della Scala. The youngsters, in jeans and sneakers, had left Bardonecchia at two in the afternoon.

Five days ago, Libération reported on the solidarity movement of French citizens and mountain guides at the border with Italy who have started to organise walks every night to rescue refugees. The mountain guides also organised a walk across the mountain in solidarity with refugees last Sunday, during which one young refugee was found walking barefoot through the snow. One mountain guide says, “soon we will find somebody dead” — refugees face avalanches on the Italian side of the mountain and risk hypothermia and getting lost on the French side, as road signs and sign posts have been withdrawn. Another Libération article writes about Joel, a mountain guide who found 11 young refugees in a single night. Tracked by authorities, between 1,500 and 2,000 refugees have crossed the Alps during the last three months.


City workers continue throwing away tents


Number of rejected asylum seekers returning to their home country drops


Belgian government has decided to suspend the deportation of Sudanese refugees


Help Refugees appeals Dubs decision


Finance Minister says integration doesn’t work properly

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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