ICJ Norway requests the immediate evacuation of asylum-seekers and refugees threatened by coronavirus on the Greek Islands

ICJ Norway has sent a letter to the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, urging the Norwegian government to cooperate with other international actors in order to solve the precarious situation on the Greek Islands before the Covid-19 hits the refugee camps there.

The overcrowding and hazardous conditions for asylum-seekers and refugees staying on the Greek Islands call for immediate action and international cooperation, especially in the light of the risk of catastrophic harm if the coronavirus Covid-19 spreads among these vulnerable populations.

ICJ Norway has therefore requested the Norwegian government to contact the UNHCR and the EU, the shipping and cruise industry, as well as governments in Europe, asking them to consider the use of cruise ships and similar vessels for swift evacuation of asylum-seekers and refugees on the Greek islands, and provide them with health care and security.

We have also recommended that the UNHCR processes asylum applications on board the designated ships. This proposal is detailed in the attached document ICJ Norway Plan of Action.

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