Fire in Moria: we urgently ask for intervention of European governments

Following the fire that destroyed much of the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, INTERSOS together with over 70 humanitarian organizations, calls on European governments to take action as soon as possible to relocate the thousands of men, women and children left on the streets.



The flames that destroyed 80% of the refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in the night between September 8th and 9th left thousands of vulnerable people, including over 4,000 children, homeless and traumatized.


“Although shocking, the latest events are sadly not a surprise. Lesbos and the other hotspots of the European Union on the Aegean islands have long since exceeded the maximum capacity“, underlines the appeal. The Moria camp alone hosts about 12-13,000 displaced people, with an official capacity of 2,800 and for 4 years, the constant warnings about the risks associated with the crowding of these camps and the lack of adequate sanitation have remained unheard.


What we ask 


“We urge the European Commission and Member States to consider the horrifying images of the Moria fire as unequivocal proof of the tragic human cost of an asylum and migration system that is based solely on containment and deterrence policies – write the 70 organizations – This episode once again demonstrates the failure of hotspots as a migration management tool”.


In particular, the appeal focuses on feasible solutions to be urgently adopted: “We welcome the transfer of 406 unaccompanied minors from Lesbos to mainland Greece, with financial support from the European Commission. This shows how transfers can be coordinated quickly when the political will exists. However, we urge all European governments to follow up, without delay, on further commitments and concrete actions. The organizations adhering to the appeal are ready to support these efforts, to rescue the men, women and children stranded in Greece, and to uphold our European values ​​of respect for human rights and dignity.




Flavia Melillo
Flavia Melillo