7.4.2016: A visit to the Nea Kavala Camp

At the moment, about 3500 people are living in the Nea Kavala Camp close to Polykastro – according to official data. But nobody knows, how many people are living there actually. We were told that many people who register in the camp leave from there again after some days and move back to Idomeni or somewhere else without informing the camp administration. In the camp there are several hundred small tents and some big tents.

At the entrance of the camp, the „camp-ID“ or the permission to enter the camp is checked by police/military, but there are already some holes in the fence which is surrounding the camp. Camp residents told us, that they get noodles every day. The persons who have money, can also buy snacks/drinks at a snack car parking on the territory. There are not enough showers and toilettes available. There is no possibility to apply for asylum and/or relocation/resettlement in the camp. For applying for asylum the camp residents have to call – like all other refugees in Greece – the Greek authorities via skype, which is practically not possible. This also means, that people who have close  relatives already living for e.g. in Germany, don’t have any  chance for family reunification under the Dublin-regulation. What is currently going on in Nea Kavala, who is responsible for what and what will happen there in the future is largely unclear. Or in the words of the UNHCR-staff, we met in front of the camp: „Nobody knows nothing“.