Athens, Greece – A high European Union official is ready to announce a 250-million euro ($295m) fund for brand new refugee camps to be constructed on Greece’s Aegean islands, however rights teams have warned the funding might do little to assist these residing in precarious situations.
EU Commissioner for Residence Affairs, Ylva Johansson, is predicted to go to Lesbos and Samos on Monday with Greek Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi.
Johansson has mentioned the funds for the camps, or Multi-Objective Reception and Identification Centres (MPRICs), must be ample for “acceptable requirements”, to be delivered “on an inexpensive timetable”.
The constructions, deliberate to be prepared earlier than the tip of the 12 months, wouldn’t be “closed”, she wrote in a weblog submit on the European Fee web site, printed on Wednesday. “They are going to be humane, and permit for areas for households and susceptible folks.
“They’ll permit youngsters to get education – important in order that valuable years are usually not wasted.”
Nevertheless, Greek authorities have repeatedly said that the brand new websites can be “closed and managed”.
Matthias Mertens, a co-founder of the Europe Should Act rights group that focuses on migration, informed Al Jazeera he was involved about folks’s private freedoms.
“The brand new MPRICs will supply prison-like residing situations to asylum seekers in distant places outdoors the city material,” he mentioned.
“They’ll curtail the company of refugees, whereas additionally diminishing the flexibility of NGOs to supply important providers, each are important to ensure humane and dignified residing situations.
“There’s additionally no democratic mandate for the development of those new camps nor are they perceived as European solidarity in motion by the native islanders. Quite the opposite, resistance towards the MPRICs is fierce and widespread.”
Locals residing on the islands have additionally voiced their opposition.
Final March, after constructing supplies have been introduced in for the brand new websites, residents protested. Some in Lesbos and Chios then clashed with riot police despatched in from Athens to disperse them.
Final week, the regional governor for the North Aegean, Kostas Moutzouris, informed native information that he nonetheless believed that there must be no “everlasting” construction on the island however that continued dialogue was essential.
Marta Welander, head of Refugee Rights Europe, mentioned the EU-funded camps must be accompanied by a “strong, unbiased and clear monitoring mechanism which can assist guarantee human rights compliance of all operations within the centres.
“With no significant funding in – and dedication to – such a monitoring mechanism, these centres danger turning into harmful vanishing factors the place rights violations perpetrated towards susceptible folks on the transfer are allowed to unfold unhindered,” Welander mentioned.
Greater than 13,300 persons are presently residing in camps throughout the islands.
Farah (not her actual identify), a 21-year-old from Afghanistan, lived in a brief camp on Lesbos earlier than being relocated together with her household this month to Germany.
“If a brand new camp should be constructed, it should have correct loos, good meals, sufficient water and correct washbasins and there must be no tents, residing in a tent could be very troublesome,” she mentioned.
“There must be extra medical doctors and colleges [too].”
Epaminondas Farmakis from Human Rights 360 informed Al Jazeera he was not satisfied that cash would result in higher camps.
“Moria, Lesbos has been the ethical failure of Europe,” he mentioned.
“The situations are atrocious for a few years now and greater than 3 billion euros [$3.5bn] are directed from the EU to Greece to deal with this course of. These funds are distributed with no transparency and no procurement insurance policies so the reply wouldn’t be to throw extra EU taxpayer funding to waste.”