There are always people making profit out of misery. This is the case with refugees. While some suffer, others profit: while refugees decided to leave Afghanistan (or not to return after spending the last 10, 20, 30 years in Iran or Pakistan), smugglers are experiencing a boom. As a crossroads between Europe and Asia, Greece is often caught between the determination of smugglers and Europe’s desire to secure her borders. The article below (from the Guardian) unpacks much of this.
The Afghan government recently reported that around 50,000 Afghans cross illegally into Greece each year, a country which is both on the outer reaches of the Schengen zone and relatively easily reached from Turkey.
Becoming victims of such criminality and exploitation is a constant risk. The situation for marooned Afghans in Greece is so bad that the Afghan government plans to open an embassy in Athens to help deal with tens of thousands whose dreams of moving deeper into Europe have turned into a nightmare of limbo with no money or papers. Their plight is often made all the worse by smugglers who keep their passports until they are paid in full.
“It is a lot more difficult to get asylum protection in Greece so it is just a transit point,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, a spokesman from the International Organisation of Migration. “There is a lot of resentment against migrants in Greece, especially with the economic crisis, which makes it very hard to make money and continue their journeys.”
Read the whole article here. Please pray for Greece. Pray for our refugee friends (Afghan and otherwise). Pray that justice would roll down like waters and righteousness like ever-flowing streams (Amos 5:24).