There are now some 10,000 people stranded in Greece at the border of Macedonia. The Macedonian government has all but shut its border, only letting a limited number of Syrians and Iraqis each day. Still, people are fleeing to Greece. And once in Greece, they are trying to make their way north.
In contravention of international law, Macedonian authorities are blocking individuals who cannot prove Iraqi or Syrian citizenship from crossing the border. If you don’t have a passport, or if you can’t prove you are Iraqi or Syrian, you are not going to be let through, no matter what your circumstance.
So where do you go? Apparently, back to squalor and homelessness in a major European city.
This video, from the UN Refugee Agency, tells the story of some Afghan families who were removed from the Macedonian border, and now live in a park in Athens. It’s a powerful reminder that behind all these statistics and political posturing are living and breathing families, the vast majority of whom are fleeing war and violence.