Respect for Human Rights should Prevail over Use of Force

Following yesterday’s (8 September) fire in Moria, on Lesvos, which destroyed the Reception and Identification Centre, 31 civil society organizations call on the Greek Government to immediately provide assistance to people who lost their shelter. Those affected, among them many children and at-risk groups, must be carefully transferred to safety on the mainland.

The transfer of at-risk groups, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people with medical and mental health conditions, and older people should be prioritized. People who tested positive for COVID-19 should be given safe housing for the quarantine period, healthcare, and hospitalization if necessary.

Moving people from Lesvos to mainland Greece requires finding urgent solutions to address the fact that many current housing facilities for refugees and asylum seekers are at full capacity. We urge the Greek authorities to work on a coherent plan that maximises all available resources including those from the EU and we renew our call to European leaders to share the responsibility for the reception and support of asylum seekers now more than ever.

In these difficult times, it is of utmost importance that respect for human rights is at the centre of the response to the fire at Moria, and that authorities do not resort to use of force or inflammatory language, but take appropriate steps to de-escalate any risk of violence.

  • ActionAid Hellas
  • Amnesty International
  • Boat Refugee Foundation
  • CRWI Diotima
  • ELIX
  • Equal Rights Beyond Borders
  • Fenix – Humanitarian Legal Aid
  • Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
  • Hellenic League for Human Rights
  • Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη) / GCAP Greece
  • Help Refugees
  • Hias Greece
  • HumanRights360
  • Humanitarian Legal Aid
  • Human Rights Watch
  • International Rescue Committee (IRC)
  • INTERSOS Hellas
  • Legal Centre Lesvos
  • Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Melissa
  • Network for Children’s Rights
  • Omnes
  • Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
  • Refugee Rights Europe (RRE)
  • Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)
  • Refugee Trauma Initiative
  • Solidarity Now
  • Symbiosis-School of Political Studies in Greece
  • Terre des hommes Hellas
  • The HOME Project

See more information via ActionAid Hellas and the Hellenic Platform for Development (Ελληνική Πλατφόρμα για την Ανάπτυξη) / GCAP Greece.

See also Fire Destroys Most of Europe’s Largest Refugee Camp, on Greek Island of LesbosNew York Times – 9 September 2020

A picture of a group of people fleeing the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, Greece while it is burning on 8 September 2020