Fórsa has joined with other trade unions and civil society groups to call on European governments to relocate 13,000 people – including 4,000 children – left without shelter following a devastating fire at an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The facility was designed for fewer than 3,000 people.
Last week’s fires destroyed the Moria registration and identification centre and the surrounding areas, leaving thousands homeless and traumatised.
The extreme overcrowding at the camp, which has an official capacity of just 2,800, has put huge strains on its sanitation and other facilities leading to major health risks, which have been heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch accused the Greek Government of doing too little to tackle the acute overcrowding in the facility, though Greek authorities say other EU nations are doing too little to accommodate the thousands of refugees arriving in southern Europe.
Irish unions have called on the Government to play an active role in Europe’s response to the new emergency. The chair of its Global Solidarity Committee acknowledged the Irish Government’s recognition of the major humanitarian emergency that now exists.
“We expect the Irish government to act with urgency on this matter,” she said. ICTU said priority should be given to unaccompanied minors and women travelling alone and with small children.
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