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Greece: “Our misery came back like a ghost to haunt us”

For the past five years, thousands of people fleeing violence and trauma have found themselves contained in camps on the Greek islands. Among these people are thousands of children, hundreds of whom are victims of torture and violence. Their experiences in Moria and the other Greek refugee camps have only compounded their existing trauma, leading Médecins Sans Frontières doctors to repeatedly describe this situation as a mental health emergency.

Below, you can watch a harrowing first-hand testimony from a mother of five who fled the fire in Moria, yet still remains trapped in containment in the new camp.

Trigger warning: the video below contains mentions of suicide

As time goes on, I am taking care of more and more children who harm themselves or have suicidal thoughts. The lack of activities, which are now extremely limited due to COVID-19 measures, contributes to this. The length of time the children have lived in the camp also has an impact – many of them have been here for months. I just cannot get used to broken children's souls.

Katerina Šrahulková, Médecins Sans Frontières Psychologist, Lesbos

Under international law, refugees and asylum seekers have the right to protection from violence as well as access to food, shelter, and medical care. They deserve to live with dignity and respect.

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