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To wonder how this can be happening in Europe

(53 Posts)
Mistigri Sat 24-Oct-15 13:04:42

I read this earlier today: Day 8 Lesvos - actually it took me two goes to get all the way through it because I found it so upsetting.

It's an account of one woman's efforts to help refugees in Lesvos - she is working with the thousands of people who are queueing to register with the Greek authorities. As I understand it, until they are registered they cannot access help from NGOS like the UNHCR. The only help they have is from a few self-funded volunteers like Merel, who wrote the account above. It is heartbreaking.

I'm not trying to make a party political point about immigration here btw - it is a problem beyond the ability of any single party, nation or even continent to resolve. But where is our humanity if we can leave pregnant women and babies without food, shelter, medical attention or even clean water? How can this be happening in Europe and hardly anyone seems to care? It's not even important enough to make the newspapers any more sad

AgentProvocateur Sat 24-Oct-15 13:27:41

It is heartbreaking. I feel so impotent - I have donated money and tents to local efforts here, for volunteers to take them from glasgow to Calais, but the issue seems so big and insurmountable.

123Jump Sat 24-Oct-15 14:25:38

Yanbu. I heard a news report on this the other day. Some one had gone out there to assess things and was horrified to find there is practically no help at all except that provided by locals and volunteers.
I think people are happy to help and give, it's getting it out there.

TiredButFineODFOJ Sat 24-Oct-15 15:10:14

It's really unbelievable...once "registered" it's not like people are let in through a special door where they do get food and warmth, just that they can get on the ferry and move on.
I don't understand why major charities are not doing more. I understand that UNHCR can't ste up refugee camps as such without permission. But in a lot of places in Greece, volunteers, locals and fundraisers are the ones who are literally feeding and clothing everyone.
I've been to help in September, it's amazing to see what has been donated and put in place by volunteers. Yet I find it amazing that has been organised mainly via facebook and gofundme donations from UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland etc. and not household name charities.

Mistigri Sat 24-Oct-15 16:32:19

Tired I find it very frustrating that it's so hard to identify a charity that is there working on-the-ground with new arrivals and those trapped at border crossings. I would happily give if I knew who to give to!

It seems that it is best to give to individual volunteers and volunteer groups - the woman whose account I linked to above has a crowd funding page here

Theremustbesomething Sat 24-Oct-15 16:37:18

I read a similar account this morning but is sounds like things have got even worse over the last few days. It is utterly horrific, isn't it? It is beyond belief that there is no official facility for receiving people who have already gone through so much.

Theremustbesomething Sat 24-Oct-15 16:39:57

Thanks, Mistigri - that's useful.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 24-Oct-15 16:45:36

Also in Europe, the democratically elected government of Portugal has been told they may not form a government by the country's president....

The world is going to shit

Mistigri Sat 24-Oct-15 18:09:28

Theremustbe I think from reading Merel's accounts the big difference is that the bad weather has arrived - obviously cold and wet is a big extra risk factor for babies, young children and the elderly in particular, and it adds to the stress and tension among adult refugees, making the use of tear gas etc by police more likely.

I cannot believe that I am reading about police tear-gassing vulnerable peole, including babies, in the EU! And it's barely being reported. Sickening.

ginghamcricketbox Sat 24-Oct-15 18:37:18

They are not tear-gassing children they are trying to control mobs of angry young men.

RickRoll Sat 24-Oct-15 18:43:12

There are hundreds of millions of desperate people, all around the world, and we don't give a shit about them.

But now they are trying to get into Europe, suddenly people are taking notice.

HeySoulSister Sat 24-Oct-15 18:47:51

Well they will be here soon enough op. You can offer help to them then, in person

howtorebuild Sat 24-Oct-15 18:51:38

This is heartbreaking.

DolphinsPlayground Sat 24-Oct-15 18:54:37

Why has it dropped out of the media? It is no where near as big a story as it was?

Mistigri Sat 24-Oct-15 19:53:14

gingham they are tear-gassing crowds that include young children and babies. I've just read an account of a volunteer - not a medical worker, there aren't any available in some of these places - treating babies' eyes after they have been exposed to tear gas.

Personally I find this distressing. I'm sorry you don't.

RickRoll the whole point is that while it is true that horrible things happen all over the world, this isn't happening somewhere else: it's happening on our doorstep, where we (collectively, as a region and as a political and economic bloc) have the wherewithal to prevent it if only there was sufficient political will.

This is NOT a left-right argument. My own home country has a socialist government that is not doing enough either.

TiredButFineODFOJ Sat 24-Oct-15 19:56:23

The numbers arriving are increasing- there's bad weather on the way and the crossings usually reduce but they have not- people are desperate to cross to get in before it's too late.
It's been torrential rain and flooding, people are waiting to get their papers in the rain for days with no food, soaking wet with no shelter.
The local volunteers are doing what they can, but they don't have proper training, they don't have debriefs to help them cope with what they are dealing with. I still don't see why large charities can't supply tents and food, let alone a few workers to help the local volunteers.

ginghamcricketbox Sat 24-Oct-15 19:56:57

What exactly does enough mean?

TiredButFineODFOJ Sat 24-Oct-15 20:01:18

Unfortunately this isn't the only post I have seen like this in the last few days, this is a pic of a post about Leros

Mistigri Sat 24-Oct-15 20:23:22

gingham "enough" for me would be fulfilling obligations under the Geneva convention. Processing arrivals humanely, providing humanitarian relief while status is determined. I am not against returning people quickly if they do not qualify for refugee status, but they should still be treated humanely.

ginghamcricketbox Sat 24-Oct-15 20:34:43

Fair enough, but these people are coming fram a "safe" country, why did the not apply for asylum there instesd of making an illigal crossing into Europe.

overthemill Sat 24-Oct-15 20:36:58

gingham which safe country did they come from? Turkey isn't safe

ginghamcricketbox Sat 24-Oct-15 20:40:52

Who says Turkey isn't safe?

HeySoulSister Sat 24-Oct-15 20:42:13

Turkey compared to Syria?

CuttedUpPear Sat 24-Oct-15 20:43:00

gingham these are people just like you and I, with houses, jobs and families - or they did have until their own government started to bomb the fuck out of them.

Many of the refugees have fled their homes because they were being pressured to join ISIS - on pain of death.

Your airy comment about getting them to apply for asylum before running for their lives is massively ill informed.

ginghamcricketbox Sat 24-Oct-15 20:51:08

They were already in Turkey a "safe" country, why pay people smugglers to get to Europe?

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