The Boat Refugee Foundation sounds the alarm for poor care for underage refugees
We are very concerned about the more than 340 unaccompanied minors in Moria refugee camp. Drinking and drug use and automutilation are common problems among the mostly traumatized teenagers. Adequate care is missing. That is why we sound the alarm.
Currently, an estimated 340 underage refugees traveling alone live in the Moria refugee camp, on a total of more than 5,000 refugees. The minors are often traumatized, but the right care is lacking.
Because of this, minors struggle with numerous psychological and physical complaints and fall into the use of alcohol and drugs. Our team sees young people with stress complaints and panic attacks on a daily basis. Many young people do self-harm. They also cause a lot of nuisance in the camp under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The lack of adequate care for this group of vulnerable refugees is worrying. There is a huge shortage of capable caregivers (supervisors) for minors. Up to mid-afternoon only two coordinators and two nurses are present for more than 300 young people. Furthermore, only one psychologist is available.
After the public officials leave, the police are the only point of contact for the minors. Their presence causes fear among the traumatized youth. Many officers deal tactlessly and with disinterest with the youngsters. They do not speak their language and have no experience in dealing with traumas. We even see abuse of power.
On average, the minor refugees spend five months in camp Moria before they can move on to the mainland. That is way too long under these circumstances. These young people are extremely vulnerable and should be referred directly to the mainland of Greece where they need to get adequate care and protection. Moria is no place for them, they should not be here at all.
Although drug use among young people is becoming an increasingly visible problem in the camp, a concrete approach has not been taken yet. That is why we are now urgently requesting a constructive solution to this situation. Underage refugees have the right to protection and adequate care. It is time for authorities to take action and no longer look away.
In the meantime, we continue to do what we can within our circle of influence. In addition to demanding attention to distressing situations like this, we continue to help the people in Moria with medical and psychosocial help. Fortunately, it is never hopeless to help a person. We can make a difference for hundreds of people every day!
Will you help us?
By sharing this message as often as possible, we hope to open as many eyes as we can for the inhuman situation on Lesvos. You can also support us by registering as a volunteer or supporting our work financially. Will you help us fight this battle?