Doctors without Borders against EU: migration contract with Turkey is failing

SAR by Icelandic vessel Tyr, Operation Triton 2015

The agreement between the European Union (EU) and Turkey on tackling migration has failed. According to aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières, four years after the refugee pact, more than 35,000 people on Greek islands live in total chaos and without any dignity. Médecins Sans Frontières demands a radical revision of refugee policy from the European Union.

The situation is comparable to the worst camps in the world. These camps must be closed immediately and people must be brought to mainland Europe, "said President Christos Christou after a visit to the islands of Lesbos and Samos.

The problem of illegal migration from Africa and the Middle East to Europe has been dragging on for years and affects mostly Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece. Once arrived in these countries, free movement of persons applies and the migrants try to travel in this way to other European countries.

The controversial deal between Turkey and the EU had to put an end to this. Since that deal, migrants are no longer allowed to travel freely after arriving in Greece. Pending the completion of their asylum procedure, migrants now have to stay in centers on the Greek islands. Moreover, Turkey promised to take back migrants who came to Europe illegally via Turkey.

But due to the massive influx of migrants on the Greek islands, they are now overcrowded. Today, more than 34,000 migrants are said to be staying in the asylum centers on the islands, while the asylum centers have a total reception capacity of 6,300 people. That regularly causes heavy riots and nuisance.

Aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières asks the European Union to intervene. According to them, the deal with Turkey is a total failure. "Four years after the refugee pact, 35,000 people on the Greek islands live in total chaos and without any dignity," said international president Christos Christou.

In the overcrowded camps there is a lot of crime, but victims of it are being abandoned, according to MSF. "Not only are these people not helped, their condition is also deteriorating," Christou said. "With humanity, a principle of EU, this has nothing to do anymore."