In publica commoda

Press release: "Hot Spots are no solution“

No. 195 - 04.10.2019

International research team criticises situation in Greek refugee camp Moria


An international team of scientists has criticised the situation in the Aegean Sea and especially in the Greek refugee camp Moria. The researchers of the EU-funded research project "Respond", in which the University of Göttingen is also involved, demand responses from the responsible politicians because of human rights. 


After the third death in just a few weeks of a person in Moria, a “Hot Spot” on the island of Lesbos, the situation in the terribly overcrowded camp has become the subject of worldwide coverage. The camp, which was originally set up for 3,000 people, is currently home to around 13,000 refugees. The European Union and the Greek government wanted to regulate the refugee flows in 2015 and 2016 using the Hot Spot Moria. According to the scientists, this approach has failed.


"The hot spot approach has led to an extremely chaotic situation, both legally and socially, in which the dignity of asylum seekers, which is enshrined in international human rights law, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European asylum system, is trampled underfoot," the researchers write in a recent statement.


"Hot spots aren't the answer. After almost two years of research, we have to summarise that the situation in the Aegean is getting worse. The hot spot approach and measures such as the agreement between the EU and Turkey have failed to address the problem of refugee migration flows, in particular because they lack essential human rights standards and legal (procedural) norms".


The detailed statement and information on the "Respond" project can be found at



Professor Sabine Hess

University of Göttingen

Faculty of Humanities

Institute for Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology (CAEE)

Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14, 37073 Göttingen

Tel: +49 (0)551 39-25349