Anette, a Danish journalist has spent a lot of time over the last couple of years working with refugees in Greece and is currently in Chios from where she writes;
Chios, where I have spent the last week, is one of the EU’s hotspots. There are several of these hotspots on the Greek Islands, Lesvos, Samos and Leros are others. All together more than 9000 refugees and migrants are now living in these overcrowded camps on the Greek islands, without the possibility to get away. Every day new boats arrive with even more people. On Chios there have been three boats the last week with up to 50 people in each.
People living in the hotspots will soon have been here up to a year, living with no hope, bored, nothing to do, with no future. Without a life.
A hopeless life like this puts its marks on people. Last week four people committed suicide, two succeeded.
There are two camps on Chios, one with a barbed wire around – and where people like me cannot get in. The other camp is half an hours walk from where I stay (the pictures are from there). People are living in festival tents, covered with plastic for the cold winter. Families in containers.
The only good thing about this camp is the food. It is made by a Greek.
Because of the miserable life there is a lot of drinking and fighting – with knives. There is prostitution, women and children are raped, and volunteers have been advised not to go inside the camp on their own. The camp is filled with rats, and the rats even get into the containers.
Imagine a mother not being able to protect your child from rat bites during the night, one volunteer said to me. She will now try to do something about the problem with the rats, while she is here.
All refugees and migrants just want to get away from Chios, but EU does not want to empty the islands. They are afraid that people will move further up north.
Some try to hide themselves on the ferry for Athens. Others try another way. Today I read a story about a Syrian and an Egyptian man, who had stolen a boat and wanted to go back to Turkey, but were discovered. They are now in prison here in Chios.
Today I was thinking that when you treat people worse than animals there is the danger that they might become like animals.