Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release


Giovanni Riccardi Candiani, Country Representative for Oxfam in Greece is available for interview, via Ruud Huurman - / +31 6 5117 5316

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.

Press Release

Oxfam Suspends Aid Operations in Moria Camp in Protest to the Suspension of Migrants’ Rights by the EU and Turkey

Oxfam has today suspended all of its operations in the Moria camp, on the Greek island of Lesvos, in response to the deteriorating treatment of migrants due to the recent deal struck between the EU and Turkey.

Over the last few days, there has been a jump in the number of people on the move arriving to Moria. In response, the Greek authorities are transforming reception facilities into detention centers, where people will be held pending their mass return to Turkey, following the deal last week. People’s freedom of movement in Moria has been severely restricted and the camp has been placed under the authority of the Interior Ministry.

Oxfam is committed to providing humanitarian assistance to those in need, but it is against Oxfam principles to work in closed centers, where the respect of fundamental rights cannot be guaranteed. Humanitarian aid should be delivered in a neutral environment, where refugees have freedom of movement.

Giovanni Riccardi Candiani, Country Representative for Oxfam in Greece said: “It is incomprehensible how Europe has basically suspended the rights of these people who are looking for protection in Greece. The detention of people, who committed no crime and who have risked their lives in search of security and a better future, is an offense to the same values that Europe has so passionately defended in the past.”

Oxfam started its operations in Greece in September 2015, as the humanitarian situation of people on the move arriving from Turkey quickly worsened. Oxfam has been providing food and water, plus daily essentials to refugees and migrants in its programs. In Moria camp in particular the hygiene and sanitary conditions are very poor, and Oxfam commissioned the construction of a block of toilets. Despite the general suspension of Oxfam operations in the camp, this urgent work will be completed and Oxfam will continue to monitor the welfare of those in Moria.

“Our withdrawal from Moria is a tragic testament of how the migration crisis is gradually developing into a moral crisis in Europe. If European leaders are no longer able or willing to uphold the fundamental rights of people, and moral human values, who will?” added Riccardi Candiani.

Oxfam will continue to monitor developments and will remain in active dialogue with the authorities in Greece, and in the EU, raising our concerns on behalf of migrants and refugees who are seeking sanctuary and dignity. Oxfam will continue its humanitarian assistance to those in Kara Tepe camp, which is managed by the municipality of Lesvos, where refugees and migrants do have freedom of movement.


Oxfam International is a global movement of people who are fighting inequality to end poverty and injustice. We are working across regions in about 70 countries, with thousands of partners, and allies, supporting communities to build better lives for themselves, grow resilience and protect lives and livelihoods also in times of crisis.

GOP 'Silence Speaks Volumes,' Says Ilhan Omar as Boebert's Bigotry Goes Unpunished

"Normalizing this bigotry not only endangers my life but the lives of all Muslims. Anti-Muslim bigotry has no place in Congress."

Brett Wilkins ·

Africans Should Be 'Applauded, Not Punished,' Say Advocates Amid Omicron Travel Ban

"What is going on right now is inevitable," said African Union Vaccine Delivery Alliance co-chair Dr. Ayoade Alakija. "It's a result of the world's failure to vaccinate in an equitable, urgent, and speedy manner."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biden Drilling Report Blasted as 'Shocking Capitulation to the Needs of Corporate Polluters'

"Greenlighting more fossil fuel extraction, then pretending it's OK by nudging up royalty rates, is like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," said one campaigner.

Jessica Corbett ·

UNESCO Members Adopt First Global AI Ethics Agreement 'To Benefit Humanity'

"We're at a critical juncture in history," said Ethics in Tech founder Vahid Razavi. "We need as humans to come together and decide what is the best course of action to take with these technologies before they surpass us in their abilities."

Brett Wilkins ·

Progressive US Lawmakers Mark Black Friday With Calls to Pass the PRO Act

"The right to organize, fight for better working conditions, and fair pay must always be protected."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo