This documentary about refugees in Greece is a stark reminder of how Greek authorities and the European Union have turned their backs on asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants. The answer is not higher border fences or fear-mongering by politicians, but finding proactive solutions that take into account the needs and human rights of these people.
Eighty percent of the refugees that come from war-stricken areas flee to neighboring countries like Pakistan, where there are 1.7 million refugees. In the Dadaab refugee camp alone in Kenya there are a staggering 500,000 Somali refugees.
For the sake of comparison, 27 EU states have a total of 1.3 million refugees.
Traveling under a truck is one way that asylum seekers use to cross borders in Europe.
Says the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in a statement about the documentary, How much further:
Filmed in Athens between October 2011 and February 2012, in the midst of social, political and economic turmoil, the documentary raises the voices of those who have fled Afghanistan, Somalia or Sudan hoping to find refuge in Europe. After months or even years on the road, they arrive in Greece, a country whose population is facing the full brunt of the economic crisis and where the asylum and reception systems are completely dysfunctional. Most people see no option but to take to the road again in the hope of reaching a country that can receive them and consider their claim for asylum. But, once they have entered Greece, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to leave the country given the European policies that legally bind them to Greece.
This documentary is the fruit of the cooperation between ECRE, the Greek Forum of Refugees and the film maker Matthias Wiessler, and supported by the European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM).
Following the simultaneous premières in Brussels and Athens for World Refugee Day (20 June), How much further? has already been shown in two other screenings so far, at theEuropean Policy Institute and to the students of the Odysseus Network Summer School on European Law and Polciy on Immigration & Asylum.
To see documentary, How much further, click here.