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Lesvos: Moria camp "dangerous to public health" and majority of detainees "never feel safe"
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The notorious Moria "hotspot" camp on the Greek island of Lesvos must be cleaned up within 30 days or otherwise closed down. Inspectors declared the camp "dangerous for public health and the environment," after finding "broken sewage pipes, overflowing garbage bins, and stagnant water and flies in the toilets," according to a report in the The Independent. Meanwhile, a recent investigation has found that over 65% of people living in the camp "never feel safe" there.
See: Greece's Moria refugee camp faces closure over 'uncontrollable amounts of waste' (The Independent, link):
"Greece's biggest refugee camp faces closure next month unless authorities clean up an "uncontrollable amount of waste" at the site, according to local officials...
A high risk of disease transmission due to overcrowding was also identified at the camp which holds more than 8,300 people living in shipping containers and flimsy tents, more than double its official capacity of 3,100.
Moria, a former military compound consisting of shipping containers and flimsy tents, has long been criticised by the United Nations and other human rights organisations as overcrowded and unfit for humans.
The public health notice warns that all of the problems identified by inspectors must be remedied.
"We are issuing a 30-day deadline," it reads. "Once it expires we will ban its operation over even just one of the aforementioned problems.""
Any closure would of course raise the question of where the thousands of people trapped in the camp would go. For the time being, however, the foul sanitary conditions in which people are forced to live are not the only problem. A recent survey found that over 65% of people living in the camp "never feel safe" there.
See: Residents at Moria refugee camp live in fear, new survey shows (ekathimerini, link):
"A shocking 65.7 percent of respondents in a new survey conducted at the Moria hot spot and other migrant and refugee camps on the Aegean island of Lesvos said they never feel safe in the facilities where they are staying...
According to the report, the lack of safety and security was a major concern among all of the respondents, and particularly so at Moria, with 65.7 percent saying they never feel safe inside the camps and another 22.4 percent that they dont feel very safe...
An alarming 48.2 percent of respondents also said that they have witnessed another camp resident die, with 53.4 percent of that percentage saying that the fatality occurred as a result of violence and 40.5 believing that a death had resulted from untreated health problems."
See the full report by Refugee Rights Europe: An island in despair: documenting the situation for refugees and displaced people in Lesvos, Greece (link to pdf):
"Refugee Rights Europe sent a field delegation to the island from 18-22 June 2018, to investigate and document the human rights situation. The study is based on surveys and interviews with 311 individuals in their native languages, or nearly 4% of the estimated 8,000 refugees and displaced people thought to be on the island at the time of the study. Among those interviewed were 23 children or 7.4% of the research sample. As a result, this is one of the largest independent studies to be conducted with refugees and displaced people in Lesvos."
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