I Welcome Refugees
The stories and facts we gather can change minds and fuel political will. They help us advocate for refugees by increasing media attention and putting pressure on governments to help.
When we visited Piraeus, there was no hot water, and rubbish was piling up. Doctors reported bed bugs, head lice, and allergic reactions from not being able to wash. Kids, including Sham, got fever and diarrhea.
Last September, EU countries pledged to help Greece by sharing responsibility for 66,400 asylum-seekers. When they closed their borders, they had only accepted 615 people.
Sham and her family—and thousands of others just like them—need help.
Portugal has agreed to open its doors to 10,000 refugees—an example of what’s possible if governments focus on finding solutions instead of locking their gates and turning away.
Amnesty is pressuring European leaders to offer visas to people like Sham and either reunite them with relatives already living in other EU countries or relocate them to process their asylum applications abroad.
We must turn promises into realities.
Amnesty crisis investigators met Sarif, a blind refugee from Iraq, during their research mission to Greece. Sarif’s son told them she is more than 100 years old. He carried her on his back all the way to Turkey to escape Islamic State. She has been living in a tent in northern Greece since February.
There are over 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees living in camps across Europe. Six-year-old Noura (above) is living in a migrant camp near Athens but more than 10,000 refugee children are missing in Europe.
Zeinnab and her mother Pari are refugees from Afghanistan. Pari has been diagnosed with dementia. They could not find anywhere to stay in Athens so the family are sleeping rough outside Ellinko old airport.
Three year old Ismail lives in a tent outside Ellinko old airport in Athens with his parents and two older brothers. The family fled from the war in Afghanistan. Children like Ismail spend most of their time outside their abondoned buidling, which is full of health and sanitary hazards.
Eltaf is seven years old and fled from Afghanistan. He is trapped in Malakasa refugee camp, where there is no school. He is trying to learn English with the support of some volunteers and NGOs when they visit the camp.
47 year old tailor Yusuf Adaas was injured in Alppo and lost his right leg. He lives in Nea Kavala camp with his wife and three children and would like to go to Germany to have surgery. Life in this camp, in a wheelchair, is extremely difficult for him. However, he said the most painful consequence of the war is that his sons have not been able to attend school for six years, telling us “learning is like a diamond, you cannot get enough”.