MSF - Vulnerable People at Europe's Doorstep

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Sınır Tanımayan Doktorlar Örgütü tarafından Temmuz 2009 tarihinde yayınlanan"Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers: Vulnerable People at Europe's Doorstep" başlıklı raporun Giriş bölümünü aşağıda bulabilirsiniz.

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Restrictive entry policies have not stopped asylum seekers, refugees, and other migrants from knocking at European doors in search of refuge, protection or better living conditions. However, these policies have forced people to take more risks to reach Europe with negative consequences for their physical and mental health.

The fact that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), an international humanitarian medical organization, needs to be present at the entry points to Europe is a telling indication of the lack of adequate medical assistance currently available for these vulnerable populations. Since 2000, MSF has provided emergency medical aid, medical screenings, and mental health care to migrants who reach European shores by boat. Over the past years, MSF medical teams have noted that more and more of these migrants need medical assistance. Many arrive in a desperate state, suffering from shock, hypothermia, and skin burns as a result of the harsh conditions endured during long journeys at sea. Others might not even survive the journey.

MSF teams in Southern Europe meet people on a daily basis who have fled conflict, widespread violations of human rights, or harsh socio-economic conditions. They travel, live and work in precarious conditions, with limited or no access to health care. They are often marginalized and face huge uncertainty about their future when they finally arrive in Europe.

To respond to the health needs of asylum seekers and migrants, MSF runs emergency medical programs on the border shores of a number of countries, including Malta, Italy, and Greece. At the same time, MSF calls for minimum standards in the reception of migrants and asylum seekers, as set out in European legislation and international law, and denounces the systematic detention of asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children, and the seriously ill. People coming from countries at war or with widespread human rights violations should be considered as potential asylum seekers and access to asylum procedures must be provided upon their arrival.

Asylum seekers and migrants are running away from war, violence, hunger, and extreme hardship. Often, they have faced major difficulties on their way to Europe, and in Europe they are likely to be further excluded from society. As a medical humanitarian organization, MSF is helping these people at Europe’s doorstep and advocating for their humane treatment.


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