A photo essay by Thodoris Nikolaou
During her recent visit to Greece, European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson made assurances that new reception centers on the Aegean islands would not be closed facilities. However, the reconfiguration of existing camps on the mainland into closed facilities are progressing at a rapid pace − and the authorities involved are pointing fingers at each other.
“I don’t want anything from you. Nor am I happy that my drawing has traveled to another place, while I’m stuck in a prison”, says little Jamal from a detention center on Kos island.
Since arriving in Greece -27 years ago- Rodika has been working as a domestic worker. When COVID-19 appeared, she saw her working reality change.
Testimonies from women who are facing the pandemic while trapped in “self-isolation” for months on end.
Refugees were left homeless following evictions as the EU-funded programme providing shelter in hotels ends.
As the government appoints a Deputy Minister responsible for integration, images of evicted refugees living on the streets can be seen all over Greece. “Since you don’t want us here, at least let us move on and best wishes to you all,” said the Syrian we met in Karditsa.
A heavily pregnant Afghan woman set herself on fire, after hearing her transfer to Germany was postponed again. The act was viewed as “a cry for help” by many. The woman had been living in Lesbos’ infamous camps for over a year.
2020 was the year the government vowed to “put NGOs in order” and millions were controversially allocated to tackle the issue. Funding was even granted to NGOs that did not meet the criteria set by the government.