Saturday, May 16, 2020
The Forum for Development and Human Rights Dialogue on Saturday called on Germany and the European Union (EU) to shoulder their moral and humanitarian responsibility to assist refugees, especially children, after they were expelled from their shelter camps in Turkey towards their border with EU countries and their position was complicated due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Refugees in the overcrowded camps of the Greek islands of Chios, Samos and Lesbos suffer from poor health and living services, especially children and adolescents who have separated from their parents or siblings while fleeing their country or made their way alone to Greece during the escape.
It is estimated that more than 40,000 people are currently living in overcrowded camps on the Greek islands (Chios, Samos and Lesbos) with very difficult health conditions. About 14,000 of them are children and young people under the age of 18 and about 2,000 of them are without family support altogether.
Doctors Without Borders has confirmed that about 1,000 sick children are living in Greek camps in dire need of medical assistance, and the German Interior Ministry has agreed to accept some of these children with their families of origin, i.e., direct parents and siblings, but this pledge has been completely deadlocked by the Corona crisis, with multiple bureaucratic obstacles involved.
The very harsh conditions, overcrowding and despair of the refugees living there have led to tension, disagreements and quarrels between them, which means that the children there will live in danger around the clock. Unaccompanied children cannot be able to defend themselves against violence and ill-treatment. Children fleeing their countries of origin suffer new trauma and at the same time do not receive psychological treatment. The Forum drew attention to the fact that a large number of them suffer from panic attacks and nightmares, many suffer from depression and some try to commit suicide.
International reports confirmed that more than a third of the 42,000 refugees in these camps were children, 60 per cent under the age of 12, about half from Afghanistan and most of the rest from Syria and Somalia. The Forum called for the protection of these children from the victims of the absence of humanity and Turkey’s violation of its international commitments to refugees it has pledged to protect after fleeing the battlefields in Syria and called on Germany and EU countries to act and submit a specific plan to secure the lives of these children in accordance with the rights of the child.