Fire in Moria refugee camp – time to take action

LAP members recently approved a grant of £15,000 to increase access to vital legal services in the Lesvos refugee camp through Oxfam’s partnership with the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR). 

On the night of Tuesday 8 September, a fire completely destroyed the infamous Moria ‘hotspot’ camp, leaving 12,000 people that were already in a precarious situation entirely destitute. In addition, two weeks ago, the first COVID infection case was identified among asylum seekers stranded in the camp.

People seeking asylum on the Greek islands were already having to navigate a complex legal system, with changes occurring on a weekly basis, making it difficult for even the most well-informed within the system to keep track. For people who are unaware of their rights, suffering from severe trauma, health issues and disabilities, or with limited literacy, it has become nearly impossible to navigate in these procedures. 

Since the fire, around 400 unaccompanied children have been flown to mainland Greece with hopes of being quickly relocated amongst EU member states. Substandard living conditions, lack of medical care and information have heightened people’s vulnerability and resolutions are urgently needed. While Oxfam and GCR continue to provide vital legal services to those that remain in the camp, Oxfam has launched an appeal to support the emergency response to the crisis. Support the humanitarian response to the crisis here.

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