Two days ago, the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Refugees (UNHCR) warned the Greek government and European Union officials that more must be done to move refugees off of Greek islands and into mainland reception centers that are indoor and better equipped to handle the deteriorating weather conditions.
Conditions on many Greek islands remain poor and a situation was waiting to happen as snow storms were on their way, according to meteorological forecasts.
According to the UNHCR, the situation on Samos, Chios and Lesvos is of particular concern. An estimated 15,000 people, including young children, and other vulnerable individuals remain in unheated tents or are scattered throughout makeshift facilities throughout the islands.
Under a 2015 agreement, EU member states agreed to take in almost 70,000 refugees who are currently stuck in Greece within two years, but so far, only 7,760 asylum seekers have been moved.
A resident and volunteer assisting with relief operations on the island of Lesvos, Philippa Kempson filmed shocking video of the Moria camp, where hundreds of refugees are housed in such unheated tents.
Transfers of asylum-seekers from the islands to the Greek mainland are allowed only after people have completed the registration process— a responsibility of the Greek government.