Previous
Next

Country/Region

March 15, 2013

A new report by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) outlines the impact of precarious living conditions and widespread criminal and institutional violence on the health of undocumented sub-Saharan migrants trapped in Morocco on their way to Europe. According to the report, Morocco’s transformation, as a result of increasingly stringent border controls, from a country of transit to a forced destination for migrants heightens their vulnerability. The implementation of migration policies which undermine respect for human rights is having an impact on migrants’ health, which includes vulnerable groups, such as victims of sexual violence or human trafficking, who are not receiving specialized care and protection from the authorities.

MSF program manager Filipe Ribero has conducted several evaluations at sites where displaced persons are living in Tbilisi and Gori.  In the field, there is a sharp contrast between a massive influx of international aid and limited opportunities — for now — to provide assistance. What is the current situation in Georgia?

Fighting has calmed in and around the breakaway region of South Ossetia, and the warring parties have reached a ceasefire agreement. The short, violent conflict has displaced a lot of people in Georgia, South Ossetia and the Northern Caucasus region of Russia. As of 20 August, MSF is still unable to access South Ossetia, the area where the conflict had broken out, in order to conduct an independent needs assessment and provide medical and humanitarian aid to the population if necessary.

An MSF emergency team based in Tbilisi has been able to gain access to the separatist province of South Ossetia and visit Tskhinvali Hospital. MSF, which already provides support to displaced people in Tbilisi, has offered to provide medical assistance in South Ossetia. On August 23 an MSF team was able to gain access to Tskhinvali in Southern Ossetia, visiting the republican hospital in this city where intense fighting broke out on August 7. The situation has been slowly returning to normal in the aftermath of the peace accord signed by Russia and Georgia.

In Tbilisi, MSF emergency teams are providing medical aid to those who have fled the fighting among Russians, Ossetians, and Georgians in South Ossetia. They are chiefly offering medical attention to people in shelters, some of them very elderly. Kalistine G. is having a hard time getting used to her new surroundings. This 82-year-old native of Georgia has been in Tbilisi for several days, where she has found refuge in an abandoned building that used to house the former Finance Ministry.

In the "Month in Focus - April 2010" edition: Haiti – Three Months Later ; South Africa – Violence without borders ; Mayotte – Reaching isolated migrants ; Morocco - Sexual violence and migration ; HIV/AIDS - Non-negotiable lives and access to generic medicines.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is deeply concerned about the deterioration of the medical and humanitarian situation of sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco after the intensification of raids and mass expulsions carried out recently by Moroccan police forces. Hundreds of migrants, including women and children, were deported to the no-man’s-land at the border between Morocco and Algeria and abandoned there during the night without food and water. Police operations took place between Aug. 19 and Sept.

Pages