Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Xenophobic attacks on the rise in crisis-hit Greece
As the economic crisis over Europe continues, there's increased attack on African migrants. See below a new article by the New Internationalist Magazine on the condition of migrants in Greece.
In 2009, I had an opportunity to travel to Athens Greece to take part in an international migraiton gathering known as the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). Like many such gatherings, we were put up for 3 days at one of the most expensive hotel and the entire 3 day gathering cost well over a million dollars.
Many of us were also part of a parallel process known as the People’s Global Action on Migration, Development& Human Rights – known as PGA. This process brought together diverse migrant groups from in and around Athens, to speak about issues of European and Greek policy on migration, testimonies on their own lives and those of their families and communities.
One of the individuals I met and spoke with is Moawia Ahmed, a Sudanese refugee who’d been living in Greece over two decades. He spoke at length about conditions for African refugees in the country. You can listen to the entire video here (sound quality is not the best but audible).
A group of African women who engaged in domestic service also attended the PGA. They had organized themselves and presented to the Ministry of Interior a demand to have their children, born in Greece, recognized and given documentation. As it stood then (and I doubt it has changed by now) all children born of undocumented migrants were not given any birth certificates. In fact, their births are not recorded at all. It is as if they don’t exist. When the time comes for the child to attend school, they are denied entry because they have no papers.
Now of course the situation has changed considerably given the increasing economic crisis in the country. As in all other countries, immigrants, and especially those with darker skin are the first to be recognized as “not belonging” and targeted for attack. Conditions for refugees were deplorable before the crisis and the article below shows how it has increased to a much worse situation.
Posted by Africa Migration Blog at 11:43 AM