The Corona pandemic has the world firmly in its grip. In many countries, there are output restrictions, schools have closed, public life comes to a standstill. People are encouraged to keep a distance from each other. But how would that be possible, if you don’t have your own apartment and a faucet with hundreds of shares other? According to the Greek civil protection Ministry, more than 40.700 migrants living on the Greek Islands – the capacity is actually around 7000 places. In refugee camps, such as Moria in Lesvos, the hygiene conditions are catastrophic. People live together in a tight space. “This is unfortunately an ideal breeding ground for rapid spread of the Virus,” says Florian Westphal, managing Director of Doctors without borders Germany, the Deutsche Welle. “To protect yourself under such circumstances, against the Coronavirus is almost impossible.”
“Zoe means life” of Zoe, Catherine, Patmos Verlag, 172 pages, 18 euros
The Coronavirus has spread in the refugee camps. However, the Corona has crisis is already a serious impact on the Situation of refugees. The star has a distress, Savior on the current Situation. Zoe Catherine, born in 1996, was for the organization “youth saves” on the first supply vessel Iuventa in the Mediterranean sea and has saved the fleeing people from Drowning. It is part of the rescue crew “Iuventa10”, which was awarded the Amnesty International prize for human rights. Since 2017, the office of the public Prosecutor in Sicily, determined against the group “Iuventa10” because of aiding and abetting illegal entry. Your up to 20 years in prison. Under her name she has written a book about her experiences as a Maritime rescuer, last name, does not want to betray you.
Zoe Catherine, what is the impact of the Coronavirus to the Situation of refugees?
A very big one. The visibility of the refugee issue at the Moment is low, because the Corona of the theme. Therefore, many do not know: The rescue vessels can no longer leak. The family reunion has been set. Germany wanted to include refugee children from the Greek Islands that were not evacuated. In the Camps in Greece, more than 40,000 people live. Here in Germany we try to keep a two Meter distance. But people who have no housing, can not go into Self-quarantine. If the Virus breaks out – I can’t even imagine what happens then. The medical care is catastrophic, so it was even earlier. Wash hands, hold, Hygiene, a distance that can not be easily observed.
The Virus does not differentiate between skin color, Religion or country of origin. Particularly vulnerable and financially weak people are now in need of protection – and especially people who flee fall.
How could you draw attention to the fact that there are people with less protection from the Virus?
Actually, everyone can do something, by talking about the issue more visible. There is the Hashtag #LeaveNoOneBehind. Post it, makes Videos, is bringing the issue into the public life! The pier is calling for a “peopleless protest”. You can hang posters and orange stuff as a sign of solidarity in the window and photos of it under #LeaveNoOneBehind post. Now other platforms do not have to be used to gather outside goes.
Could be the Coronavirus, a new reason for Flight?
There are always enough reasons to flee. You can’t leave without a reason to be home. The Coronavirus may be one of them.
Rescue distress in view of the current Situation possible?
The travel restrictions affect, of course, the Crews. You can put together any Crew, if you can’t travel. The ships are kept, as soon as you invest in Europe, in quarantine. The result is that there’s no ship out there.
In the same way as small companies, the private search and rescue now has a Problem. The cost for the ship must continue to be paid. The in the port, cost of fees, which is usually financed by donations. Now there is but donations burglaries. If the shops are closed, and have shipyards problems, ordering stuff. A ship is a lot of work, you always have to make something that is now very difficult. Search and rescue is more than difficult just.
NGOs demand that the refugee camp of Moria is evacuated to Lesvos. Mission Lifeline has even collected enough donations to organize Charter flights from Greece to Germany. Why is not complied with the offer?
For me, this is incomprehensible. Also, that the Resettlement was exposed to the program. It is the same question as always: Why is everyone moving to high limits and let people in appalling conditions in Camps? The Situation is now more dramatic than ever before.
What should the EU now?
The borders were previously closed to Refugees. Now I think that it is more important than ever, the Geneva refugee Convention and uphold the human rights Convention. In spite of the border closure on asylum are to be allowed to applications are made. People may simply not be rejected at borders. You need to have the opportunity to apply for asylum, regardless of whether Corona or not. Therefore, safe escape routes must be created.
The European Parliament has demanded on Monday the evacuation of the refugee camps on the Greek Islands. Do you think that this will be implemented, and that Germany is taking in refugees?
I wish it to be.
Sources: Deutsche Welle, Pier, Mission Lifeline, Amnesty International
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