Last week the biggest refugee camp in Europe went up in flames, leaving over 12,000 vulnerable people without shelter, amidst the global pandemic. Children from the Moria camp in Lesbos are lost and frightened and families have nowhere to go and all face increasing hostility as the pressure on small Greek islands build while remaining neglected by the rest of Europe. 5 years ago the #RefugeesWelcome movement grew as a result of increased media coverage and the compassionate response from ordinary people who wanted to welcome people seeking protection from violence, war and persecution.
Today we need to work harder than ever to counteract the hostile media coverage and political rhetoric, and provide perspective and balance to the unnecessary fear-mongering which is distorting the reality of this humanitarian crisis. We need to rebuild compassion and reach out in support of ordinary people leading extraordinary lives. We can #ChangetheStory by offering positive narratives of the gifts and contributions of people seeking sanctuary and raise awareness to enable people to know the facts and truth behind the asylum process and the need for governments across Europe to take their fair share of responsibility. We also need to call louder than ever for safe and legal routes to prevent people staying trapped in inhumane conditions.
Here are some actions people can take in solidarity with the victims of the Moria camp and all those in refugee camps waiting in limbo.
Help Refugees – Choose Love are coordinating with various grassroots groups and have a Moira Fire Emergency Response and a Europe wide petition for EU wide action. Please sign and share. If you want your group / organisations to be listed as signatories please complete this form. .
Doctors of the World have an Emergency Moria Camp Appeal
Medicins Sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders are calling for sanctuary for vulnerable children and have an email your MP campaign.
Safe Passage have a petition calling for the urgent resettlement of children seeking sanctuary stranded on Greek islands.
We Move Europe have a petition calling for investigations into the abuse of migrants.
Refugee Action have an email your MP campaign for restarting resettlement calling for safe and legal routes
Stand up To Racism are calling for protests
Please also see our Stand up for Sanctuary article which has further links for action, including our template email to MPs on safe and legal routes.