Fires in Moria – law, migratory policies and asylum in Lesvos

Date, time: 14th October 2020, 16.00

Venue: Bergen Global (Jekteviksbakken 31) or Zoom

The multiple fires that broke out in the refugee camp Moria – on the Greek island of Lesvos -, the night of 8 September have left 13,000 people in a situation of utter destitution for several weeks. This tragedy is the culmination of a long list of fires, riots and demonstrations by the migrants and refugees from Moria, in the face of the Greek government’s border control regime – supported by the European Union.

Although illegal migration in the Mediterranean has been a structural phenomenon since the late 1980s, Lesbos has been in the last years one of the main epicenters of a violent phase of mobility control and militarization. European institutions and the Greek state have reinforced wide-ranging measures to police, criminalize, and deport those populations already within its territories, especially those understood as undeserving of protection, in terms of race and nationality. Along these lines, the deal struck between the EU and Turkey in March 2016 has made the island a prison for thousands of migrants who have been trapped. Thus, Moria became the largest refugee camp in Europe and the symbol of a renewed border externalization efforts by the European border regime – which is seeking to regulate the mobility by funding detention centers for migrants, militarizing the sea and undermining the individual right to asylum.

However, Lesbos has also emerged as a scenario of authentic border struggles where the critical use of law and solidarity are constituted as central elements for the preservation of life and access to international protection for thousands of migrants and refugees.

Therefore, this webinar brings together some of the actors in the so-called “European refugee crisis” on Lesbos. Such as, the lawyers of Legal Centre Lesvos, who provide guidance and legal support to thousands of people in opaque and repressive circumstances. In addition to them, academics and activists who have carried out research with migrant and refugee populations, analyzing from a critical and ethical perspective the power structures of border regimes as well as the forms of solidarity organization in these contexts.

Lorraine Leete (Legal Centre Lesvos), and Synnøve Kristine Nepstad Bendixsen (UiB) in conversation with Edgar Córdova (CIESAS- Ciudad de México). Chaired by Alida Steigler (LawTransform).


This event is free and open to all. It is possible to attend both physically and digitally.

Please note, that according to the COVID-19 regulations all participants must keep a distance of at least one metre from each other and maintain good hand hygiene. We also need to have an overview of who is present at all times, so for those who attend physically, we will register their names and phone numbers and keep it for 10 days. You can sign up for the event via this link.

If you have any respiratory tract symptoms you should stay at home.