By Simone Speciale and Francesco Pacifici / No Name Kitchen
Refugees or people that are migrating and seeking asylum are often forced to live in places commonly referred to as “refugee camps”. As part of its border policy, the European Union closes its borders and, at the same time, sends money to places where the people trapped behind them can be housed. Here we share with you a video of the living conditions in a refugee camp based in Serbia, payed by European Union:
One of the major concerns regarding these camps is that, despite EU spending, the conditions they offer their residents are a constant source of complaint from the people that are forced to live there.
There are camps where only adults and unaccompanied minors live; others are for families with children. The residents of the Principovac refugee camp went on strike at the end of 2022, breaking the false balance that existed between violence and the silence towards this violence.
Bad food – and in ridiculously small quantities– added to the psychological violence that people experienced there, according to the testimonies of the residents of the camp themselves. They also say that there is no respect for them and their culture, and what triggered the strike was that a few days before, the guards had given them pork to eat, despite knowing that most of the people living in this camp are Muslims.
In addition, many of the boys we spoke to who live there are convinced that the meals contain some kind of tranquilliser to sedate them. One of them swears that he has seen it and felt its effects. The accusation is serious, but it is not that far-fetched. There are reports of prisons in countries such as Italy that have been able to prove that the meals had some form of tranquilliser, without warning the residents of the place – the people who eat the food – and without their permission.
A person who is not a member of No Name Kitchen obtained this video and shared it with us to make public the situation in these places that the European Union pays for, and intended to be places where people who have escaped from countries at war, with armed-conflicts or authoritarian governments such as Afghanistan, Morocco, Syria or Algeria can sleep.
This video helps to see better the conditions of the place.