A somber message of solidarity on this year’s holidays

This letter is addressing the people of Europe, especially decision-makers and ordinary citizens. 
As winter break approaches, our days are increasingly filled with preparations for the holidays: last-minute shopping, cooking with loved ones, spending time with family. This time of year is so often filled with joy and family for us that we often forget a harsh reality: there are so many people facing far more grim circumstances this holiday season. 

There are those who have no housing, no sense of security, no support and no expectations of receiving gifts this holiday. Of those, there are two groups particularly at risk this year: those on the brink of or already living on the streets with no access to social services, and those who have endured grueling journeys with the hope of entering a safe country, only to find themselves trapped in self-made camps or state-offered facilities with inhumane conditions and no heating.

Recently, while visiting the Vucjak camp near the town of Bihac, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the border with European Union, Dunja Mijatovic, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights declared that this camp was not suitable for human beings and that it should never have been opened at all. However, situations like the Greece Moria camp and the systematic starvation in the Hungarian transit zones show us there are many camps, many issues and a lot of places where people live in situations that are “not suitable for human beings.” 

Since 1992, we as the UNITED Network have tried to make the European public aware of such situations, as well as  the everyday human costs paid by those trying to find safety. While we know there is no easy solution, the UNITED Network would like to ask that you do not forget these people who are facing such dire circumstances.  We ask you to look for opportunities to support those who are less privileged. We encourage you to find more information and promote human treatment of everyone, whether that be a fellow citizen or a migrant, as they deserve our solidarity and nothing less.

Support organisations that provide services, support political movements, and those who stand up against the ill treatment of others.


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