Insight: Winter poses new crisis for refugees in Europe

CCTV News

Lesbos becomes the epicenter of the refugee crisis.00_02_31_10.Still001

The latest United Nations figures report more than 218,000 people made a dangerous haphazard journey to Europe by sea last month in order to escape conflict zones in places like Syria.

The approaching winter is prompting a change in tactics by two European nations. Serbia and Croatia have begun transferring refugees by train across their border for the first time.

The direct link was agreed last month and was sparked by the increasingly desperate situations of thousands of refugee families. It has become a major route for refugees, after Hungary put up a fence blocking passage from Serbia.


Lesbos becomes the epicenter of the refugee crisis

Good weather conditions have allowed dozens of boats to reach the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey. With authorities struggling to cope with the influx, aid organizations and hundreds of volunteers, mostly from other countries, are stepping in to help.

CCTV’s Filio Kontrafouri reports from Lesbos.

Lesbos becomes the epicenter of the refugee crisis

Lesbos becomes the epicenter of the refugee crisis

Good weather conditions have allowed dozens of boats to reach the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey. With authorities struggling to cope with the influx, aid organizations and hundreds of volunteers, mostly from other countries, are stepping in to help. CCTV's Filio Kontrafouri reports from Lesbos.

 


France orders improved conditions at refugee camps

Migrants who’ve made it further north in Europe face different hurdles. Those at one camp in northern France said living there was nearly as bad as the conflict zones they fled. A court recently ordered conditions be improved there within days, following a legal complaint by aid groups. But, some charge France lacked the will and desire to solve the crisis.

This slum-like camp in northern France’s Calais is known, by its residents, as “The Jungle”. There are now around 6,000 people camping in makeshift shelters in the dunes.

The aid effort in Calais is largely being run by local groups and grassroots NGOs with no sign of any efforts being made by the French state.

Aid groups said humanitarian efforts here were “on the brink of collapse” and described conditions as being worse than a refugee camp you would see in a war zone. For people who’ve fled conflict it’s often hard to believe they’ve ended up here.

“I could not imagine to find the refugees here, or refugee camps like this in European countries, like France. I see the refugees camps in African countries, like Sudan or in other counties. they are the worst. But the camp here in Calais is so so bad,” said Saifeldin, a Sudanese Migrant.

Increased security has made reaching the U.K. more difficult and turning the French camps into migratory dead-ends. With nowhere to go and a harsh winter looming, life in “The Jungle” was fast becoming a matter of survival.

CCTV’s Kate Parkinson reports from Calais in northern France.
Follow Kate Parkinson on Twitter @katecctvnews

Refuge crisis: France orders improving conditions at camp

Refuge crisis: France orders improving conditions at camp

Migrants who've made it further north -- face different hurdles. Those at one camp in northern France said living there was nearly as bad as the conflict zones they fled. A court recently ordered conditions be improved there within days, following a legal complaint by aid groups. But, some charge France lacked the will and desire to solve the crisis.


Kathleen Newland on refugee winter impact

For more on the refugee winter impact, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke to Kathleen Newland. She’s a senior fellow and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute.

Kathleen Newland on refugee winter impact

Kathleen Newland on refugee winter impact

For more on the refugee winter impact, CCTV America's Mike Walter spoke to Kathleen Newland. She's a senior fellow and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute.