The Tragedy of Child Life Due To War & The Refugee Crisis

Myself and another volunteer caring for two little babies before we found their mothers after a boat load of refugees arrived in Lesvos from Turkey
Myself and another volunteer caring for two little babies before we found their mothers after a boat load of refugees arrived in Lesvos from Turkey

The Tragedy of Child Life Due to War & the Refugee Crisis

Even since before the EU-Turkey Agreement came into place last month, conditions for any refugee/migrant was appalling and beyond comprehension whether on the journey itself or at various refugee camps or gathering areas across Europe.  You would think that at least when they have stopped in an area like a refugee camp before moving on again with their journey, that they would be at least in humane conditions, but this is just not true…  With all borders closed across Europe and the EU-Turkey Agreement in full swing, things couldn’t be worse for the refugees right now.

Refugee Camps have become Detention Centres like the main camp on the island of Lesvos (Camp Moria, or now Detention Centre Moria), and across Greece many camps are really just going through the motions before they send the refugee/migrants back to Turkey.

In Greece, there are major humanitarian issues in the likes of Idomeni where approximately 12,000 refugees/migrants have been left stranded with their hope of crossing the border into Macedonia gone.

Conditions to a point are getting better as we head into the warmer weather, but even that brings its own problems and dangers with heat exhaustion etc.  With many places providing very little shelter from the heat of the sun or the cold of the rain, many refugees/migrants are getting very sick, especially children and babies and some are even dying!

In the Elliniko Refugee Camp, it was reported that a young Afghan refugee girl had died due to lack of medical care.  And in the Chios Detention Centre called Vial a father of a 5month old baby said that he is terrified that his baby will die of starvation because the of the lack of baby formula provided by the Greek authorities.  The man with his baby arrived at Vial Detention Centre on 21st March and the lack of baby formula is leaving his baby starved of much needed nutrients and calories to survive.  The father who wanted to remain anonymous has even resorted to mixing bread with water to feed his baby, but this has lead to digestive problems.  These are conditions that should not be acceptable in this day and age in the 21st Century.

We have imprisoned refugees, locked them up like common criminals and for what? All they have done is flee countries that are war torn and over run by terrorists such as ISIS.

There are approximately 1100 refugees at the Vial Detention Centre, of which approximately 40% of them are children.  Shockingly, volunteers bringing much needed formula have been turned away continuously.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have spoken to a number of the mothers inside Vial Detention Centre and have been told they are not getting enough or even the right kind of food for their babies/children.  One refugee woman said that she has five children and two of them are already very sick.

Currently I’m in Belgrade, Serbia…  Admittedly the situation isn’t anywhere near as bad as Greece and Turkey, as there are only really about 400 refugees/migrants in the city of Belgrade, but the conditions are still totally inhumane.  Most of the refugees sleep without shelter in two of the city parks close to the main train station, they are not allowed to put tents up, though there are a couple, but on the whole, 90% of these refugees sleep in the park with no shelter, and that might be ok in the conditions we’ve had in the last few days where it’s been sunny, dry and 30degrees C, but last night we had a heavy rain storm and thunder all night.

Reported by Mike Buss – 20th April 2016

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