Do you remember our #humanitätjetzt campaign in March this year? Together with hundreds of prominent people, companies, and organizations we wrote an open letter to our Minister of the Interior demanding the German government to accept refugees from the camps on the Greek islands. After the growing pressure from civil rights organizations and citizens, in March, the German government agreed to welcome 1000 to 1500 children from the Greek islands. Over 140 cities and municipalities and even some federal states also announced their willingness to accept refugees. Again, after Moria burned to the ground on September 8th, Germany declared it would welcome another 1553 people from the camps. However, only 5 days ago, Stephan Mayer said that only around 1300 refugees had been allowed to enter Germany this year!
Germany and the EU are still not doing enough and the situation on the Greek islands is increasingly getting worse. After the fire in Moria, a new camp was built on the Greek island Lesvos. The circumstances there are even more inhumane: with lockdowns, no electricity and heating, and daily instances of violence, this is no place for anyone to live! Last week, shocking reports were made that rats are biting children during their sleep and that a 3-year-old girl was found unconscious after she had been sexually assaulted.
We are appalled and shocked by this situation! At the same time, we want to try to transform these feelings of shock into actions - together with others. We strongly believe that everyone can make a difference. So, here are five concrete tips about what you can do to bring some positive change:
1. Contact your constituency delegates
Write to your local constituency delegate. Since we are based in Germany, we’re only describing the German context here but of course the core of this holds true for any other European country.
Ask them to demand a migration policy that is based on humanity and human rights. Ask them to request it in their own party, in the parliament, and the Ministry of the Interior.
To find out who your constituency delegate in Germany is follow this link: https://www.bundestag.de/abgeordnete/wahlkreise/
2. Contact the Ministry of the Interior and the government
Write to your Minister of the Interior and to the government and ask them to apply humane migration and asylum politics and policies. Show them that you are watching what is happening in Greece and that you want the government to show solidarity with vulnerable people, especially in times of Corona.
To use a pre-drafted German text to email to your delegate and the government follow this link: https://lnob.net/abgeordnete-anschreiben/
3. Donate to organizations that are supporting the people in the camps and raise awareness about the situation
Some examples of amazing organizations are:
Sea-Watch who are active on the Mediterranean Sea with several boats and airplanes to monitor the human rights violations and rescue refugees.
Seebrücke, an international movement of different civil actors who demand the decriminalization of sea rescue and the establishment of safe routes for refugees.
#LeaveNoOneBehind initiative that pressures politicians to adopt a humane migration policy.
Better Days, a humanitarian NGO that works to provide physical, mental, and emotional spaces for the people currently living on Lesvos.
Movement on the ground who work to transform the current environments that refugees have to live in into empowering and dignified spaces.
Lesvos Solidarity, a local NGO supporting locals and refugees on Lesvos. They are known for their unique community-based Pikpa camp which unfortunately was forced to close a while ago.
The Chios Eastern Shore Response Team (CESRT) which is a network of international volunteers who aim to provide immediate and long-term support for the people on Chios.
4. Be active on social media
Comment under the posts of politicians and parties and demand their support for the people living in the camps. You can also share news to raise awareness and make your own posts. When posting, these are some hashtags you can use:
5. Motivate the people around you to become active as well
The more people put pressure on the government, the less they will be able to ignore the demands. Raise awareness about what is going on, talk to the people around you, and show them how they can become active, too. Together we can make a difference! #WeAreOne