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The tragic human cost of Balkan route closure for refugees

17 March 2017 12:43 PM

The EU-Turkey deal was signed on 18 March 2016 to allegedly offer “migrants an alternative to putting their lives to risk”.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has released a report to bring to light the human costs of European policy failures in Greece and the Balkans. T

The Balkan route was used by asylum seekers, migrants and refugees to reach northern Europe from Greece.

In the report, “One year on from the EU-Turkey Deal: Challenging the EU’s Alternative Facts”, MSF challenges Europe’s “alternative facts” on the EU-Turkey deal.

Borrie La Grange, Head of Communication at Doctors Without Borders, says the organisation is pushing the EU to acknowledge the true impact on people’s lives and health in Greece and beyond, so as to prevent this from happening anywhere else.

La Grange says many men, women, and children are trapped in unsafe zones outside of Europe.

They are unable to flee, and are forced to use even more dangerous smuggling routes to reach Europe.

He says they remain trapped in overcrowded “hotspots” on the Greek islands. La Grange says the unseen trauma is a lot more haunting.

According to the report, MSF psychologists in Lesvos say they saw a 2.5-fold increase in the percentage of patients with symptoms of anxiety and depression and a threefold increase in the percentage of patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

For the full interview listen to the clip below:


17 March 2017 12:43 PM