Situation of refugees in Moria: ETUCE calls on governments to respect human rights


On 9 September 2020, a devastating fire destroyed Greece’s largest migrant camp in Moria, leaving more than 12,000 refugees without shelter, individual belongings, and access to hygiene, food, water, education and other basic necessities.

In response to the disaster, the ETUCE Bureau adopted a Statement on “The situation of refugees in Moria: Human rights prevail!” demanding Greek and European governments and the European Commission to urgently provide a solution based on solidarity and respect of human dignity and human rights of refugees. Individuals on Lesbos have to be provided with safe accommodation, food and water, access to hygiene and healthcare services, and necessary protection from COVID-19. The emergency facility in Kara Tepe where most of the Moria refugees were relocated to, only has got the capacity to accommodate 8,000 people and is already overcrowded. While construction works are ongoing, ETUCE calls on member states to find a  long-term solution.

ETUCE underlines that having access to inclusive quality education is a fundamental human right of all children. Despite the efforts of the European Commission to relocate 406 minors from Lesbos to other reception centres in European Union, this is not sufficient. It is of utmost importance to avoid long breaks in children’s education and to ensure the provision of targeted support, including linguistic services, thorough assessment of their learning needs, and addressing the psychological traumas they have experienced.

ETUCE reminds that education is central to migrants’ integration and inclusion in the host country’s society and for providing them with equal opportunities in life and a sense of belonging and normality. We expect the European Commission, European Parliament, EU Council and all EU Member States to provide a coherent, unambiguous, and unified, migration policy in the upcoming New Pact on Migration and Asylum giving education a prominent and multi-dimensional place in the European Action Plan on the integration and inclusion of migrants.

To read the ETUCE Statement, please click here.