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Syrian refugees complain about Gabčíkovo camp

SYRIAN asylum seekers who have arrived from Austria and are temporarily placed in the refugee camp in Gabčíkovo (Trnava Region) are complaining about alleged bullying and insufficient care of children.

Syrian asylum seekers from Austria in Gabčíkovo(Source: TASR)

They have already signed a petition and have tried to meet with the the management of the facility. The management, however, rejects any meetings. Moreover, they say it is only play-acting when talking to media, the Aktuality.sk website reported.

“They promised us the same conditions as in Austria but the differences here are huge,” a 20-year-old man from Aleppo told Aktuality.sk.

There are currently more than 400 Syrians accommodated in Gabčíkovo, including 120 children. All of them are seeking asylum in Austria but have been placed in Slovakia based upon the memorandum on cooperation which was signed between Slovakia and Austria earlier this year.

The refugees mostly complain about bad conditions for children, most of whom have already reached school age. Nobody has yet secured any courses or lessons for them. As it is possible that they may spend up to six months in the camp, it is likely that they will miss a whole year at school, according to Aktuality.sk.

The only activity for children in the camp is kindergarten, which is only open between 14:00 and 15:00, where every child younger than 18 can go. They mostly have art lessons there. The activity is led by Thawra, one of the facility’s inhabitants, the website wrote.

The Syrians also complain about problematic medical care. While in Austria there are doctors who come to the refugee camps daily at certain hours, in Slovakia they have to ask for them. According to official information, the paediatrician visits the facility twice a week between 14:00 and 18:00, but the refugees complain that this is not always true, Aktuality.sk wrote.

According to the memorandum, the medical care should be secured by Austria. The Syrians say that the problem is with ORS Slovakia company which manages the facility and which is also the official contract partner of the Austrian government.

Additionally, the refugees say they are not happy about the food they receive. They also say that the kitchens are locked at night and they cannot warm food for their babies.

“These people have escaped from war, I think it is important that they do not sleep on floor and that they have hot meal every day,” Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák said, as quoted by Aktuality.sk, adding that the Gabčíkovo facility is not a hotel.

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Topic: Migration crisis


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