Migrant and refugee women who give birth on the Greek island of Lesbos are being sent to live in squalid, unheated tents with their babies after as little as four days, according to a new report by Oxfam.
There is no hot water and newborns, along with toddlers and older children, have to be washed outside in the cold.
Around 5,000 asylum seekers are crammed into the island’s notorious Moria camp, which was designed to hold 3,100 people.
It is so overcrowded that another 2,000 are living in tents in a muddy olive grove just outside the perimeter fence.
Some people have been stuck there for years.
“I see Moria as hell. I know women who gave birth, they had a C-section delivery and after four days they were returned to Moria with their newborn babies. They have to recover under dirty, unhealthy conditions,” said Sonia Andreu, a manager at a centre for migrant women on the Aegean island.
Some women have taken to wearing adult nappies so that they do not have to visit the lavatory at night.
Two-thirds of the people inside Moria say they “never feel safe”, according to a report released last June.
“Our partners have met mothers with newborn babies sleeping in tents, and teenagers wrongly registered as adults being locked up,” said Renata Rendón, Oxfam’s head of mission in Greece.
“Surely identifying and providing for the needs of such people is the most basic duty of the Greek government and its European partners.”
Oxfam and other humanitarian organisations called for the Greek and EU authorities to urgently deploy more screening officials, as well as doctors and psychologists, to the Aegean island camps in order to ease the bottleneck.