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Greek plan to move migrants won't end 'inhumane' conditions — aid group

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Greek plan to move migrants won't end 'inhumane' conditions — aid group
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Aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned that plans to move migrants from Greek island camps to facilities on the mainland won't improve the "inhumane" conditions.

Greece announced it will close its three largest sites and replace them with facilities on the mainland that campaigners have compared to detention centres.

It follows new asylum laws introduced by the country three weeks ago.

MSF International President Christos Christou has been visiting the camps on the Greek island of Moria while his organisation evaluates the new Greek strategy.

He told Euronews he believes the changes won’t improve the situation.

“In our experience and from what we’ve seen happening during the past four years since the EU–Turkey deal, we shouldn’t expect much," he said. "Unfortunately, more or less what we expect is that this situation of people being detained under inhumane conditions will continue.

“They are continuing to be held in conditions places that it is hard for anyone to believe exist in Greece, on the frontier of Europe, in 2019.”

Read more: Greece to replace overcrowded camps with detention centres

Christou has visited various migration camps on the Greek Islands and said that, despite extensive experience in crisis areas around the globe, he is appalled by what he saw.

“What shocks me most is the little children," he said. As you can imagine, I’ve been in various crisis areas around the world, I’ve been in war zones, in devastating situations and always little kids were the most difficult part of the story.

“Their look [in the Greek camps] is a look of despair, of fear. They’ve lost their appetite to live, their desire to play and I feel that we have stolen their childhood from them.”

Christou said European leaders need to stop considering migrants a strain on existing resources:

“A human life is human life and should be valued more than anything else," he said. "For us, what matters the most now is to manage and find a way to be close to our patients. To show them that we will do everything in our power to offer them more and that we are care about them.”