Africa: Death of Mother and Child in Greek Refugee Camp Direct Consequence of EU Migration Policies, Says Oxfam

press release

According to the UNHCR, a mother and a child have died in a fire in the EU-supported Moria refugee 'hotspot' in Lesvos, Greece.

Reaction to the news, Oxfam's head of mission in Greece, Renata Rendón, said:

"The death of a mother and a baby - the second death of a child in Moria this week - is appalling, and a direct consequence of the EU's migration policies. The EU-Turkey deal forces refugees and other migrants to live in overcrowded, unfit camps which pose a direct threat to their safety.

"Moria camp is built for 3,100 people but hosts over 13,000. People arriving in Greece should be relocated to safe accommodation across the EU, not crammed into dangerous spaces where their life is at risk."

Notes to editors:

Oxfam spokespeople are available in Moria, Greece.

The EU-supported Moria 'hotspot' for refugees has an official capacity to host 3,100 people, but currently 13,000 people are living inside the 'hotspot' and in an adjacent tented camp.

The five EU 'hotspots' on the Aegean islands are built to host 6,300 people, but currently more than 26,200 people are living there.

The EU-Turkey deal stipulates that people seeking asylum, who arrive to the Greek islands from Turkey, cannot leave the islands so that they can be deported back to Turkey.

People currently have to wait more than a year before authorities decide on their asylum claim.

Last week, a 5-year old boy died when he was run over by a truck while playing with his friends.

Oxfam has been working in Lesvos since 2015, running a programme that aims to ensure that people seeking asylum are protected. This includes training community focal points to provide information, running workshops at a day center for women, and providing legal aid and social support for people seeking asylum through partners.

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