From up close, Moria is a chaotic mass of humanity. Built to house about 3,000 people, it is now home to more than 13,000 (including an estimated 1,000 unaccompanied minors)--more than it has ever held. They wait, sometimes for more than a year, for the slow wheels of Greek bureaucracy to turn, to review their asylum applications, to send them to the mainland for a decision. Winter is approaching, and many of these 13,000 live outside the camp's walls, in tents pitched on the surrounding hillsides, without electricity or running water, which are provided only inside the camp. NGOs, which lease the land for the tents, help run basic services and report atrocious conditions. Fights break out in the hours-long food lines. Women are afraid to use the toilets for fear of harassment. In September, a woman died in a deadly fire.

How did it come to this? Because Europe allowed it to come to this.


What is Moria? It is where Europe's ideals--solidarity, human rights, a safe haven for victims of war and violence--dissolve in a tangle of bureaucracy, indifference, and lack of political will. It is the normalization of a humanitarian crisis. It is the moral failure of Europe.

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