Mock refugee camp outside German parliament highlights inhumane EU refugee policy

By Declan Carey

POLITICIANS in Germany and Brussels came under fire as protestors pitched tents outside the Reichstag in Berlin this week to highlight the dreadful conditions in refugee settlements in Europe.

Demonstrators set up 80 tents outside the Reichstag building as part of a two day protest on November 15 and 16 against the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.

Banners around the site read ‘leave no one behind’ and ‘no more Morias’ in reference to camp Moria in Greece which was destroyed by a fire in September, leaving thousands without shelter.

Protests were also held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and were co-planned by refugee aid organisations MiGreat and Europe Must Act.

Roos Ykema, director at MiGreat, told Redaction Politics that suffering has become normalised for refugees in Europe.

Credit: Fynn Stoldt

She said: “Thousands of people live in tents in Moria and other places along the borders. Winter is coming and for refugees and other migrants, it’s going to be wet and cold.

“On top of the inflicted suffering that seems to have become normal for refugees in the EU, a new migration pact has been proposed by the EU.

“It breathes deterrence, deportation, detention, much like the Turkey deal that has led to the chronical tragedy on the Greek islands.

“What we, and many NGOs, political parties and people across Europe want, is a humane approach to refuge and migration.

“That means no drownings or any other avoidable deaths, no horror camps and no police violence on our borders.”

The European Union Pact on Migration and Asylum was introduced this year to create a unified approach to the arrival of refugees and asylum seekers in the continent.

Credit: Fynn Stoldt

But Human Rights Watch have raised concerns that the pact is too heavily focused on the containment and return of refugees.

According to Unicef, there are currently 72,000 refugees and migrants in Greece.

British based refugee charity Safe Passage tweeted in support of the protests in Germany.

Twitter users also joined the demonstrations by sharing messages of support and tagging EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

A spokesperson from Europe Must Act told Redaction Politics that without action, more refugee camps like Moria will likely appear.

They said: “Protesters in Berlin acted to say that a new EU migration pact focussed on deterrence, detention and which will result in more refugee camps, (such as Moria) is not a humane nor sustainable solution.

“The protest was a statement to say that European (German) citizens will not accept policies which violate refugee and asylum seekers fundamental human rights or lead to their loss of life at European borders.

“Europe Must Act demands that both the EU and national leaders immediately implement migration policies which respect human life and dignity.”

The EU and the German Federal Government were contacted for comment.

Featured Image: Fynn Stoldt

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