ALLOW ACCESS TO THE TRANSIT CAMP IN IDOMENI WITHOUT ARBITRARY RESTRICTIONS
Access to Idomeni camp is now allowed. Intermittent closures of the Macedonia-Greece border has resulted in thousands stuck out in the cold with no access to heated shelter
Thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants aiming to cross the northern Greek border with “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” are sleeping out in the open at a gas station in Polykastro with temperatures dropping well below zero. Meanwhile, a large transit camp with facilities appropriate for cold weather, run by national and international NGOs in Idomeni, 20 km away, is not on its full capacity as the Greek police are arbitrarily restricting access to it.
Current intermittent border closure and other restrictions by the Macedonian authorities, is slowing down the flow, and is having an impact on the number of people staying in the area and are in need of assistance. In the last few days thousands of people people arrived at the petrol station and more are expected in the following days. Given the current weather conditions, the well-being of many refugees, asylum seekers and migrants – including infants – could deteriorate.
Urge the Greek Alternate Minister for Migration Policy and the Alternate Minister for Citizens Protection to allow refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants access to the transit camp in Idomeni as a matter of urgency.
Thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants – including babies – arriving at the northen Greek border are in need of heated shelter and other services that are available in the NGO-run transit camp in Idomeni. The camp is not on its full capacity, as Greek police is restricting access to it.
Minister, the wellbeing of these people – including babies – currently seeping outside in freezing temperatures is at risk if they cannot have access to the camp.
I urge you to:
- Allow refugees, asylum seekers and migrants access to the transit camp in Idomeni without arbitrary restrictions, until the Greek authorities can ensure adequate reception conditions;
- Ensure all refugees, asylum seekers and migrants taken to the border with “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, have unrestricted access to basic services such as winterized shelter, hygiene facilities and round-the-clock medical treatment currently provided by NGOs and aid agencies in the Idomeni transit camp