Greece is seeing record numbers of refugees arriving on its shores, the highest since 2016. The Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and Leros, saw more than 3,500 migrants arrive in August this year alone. As numbers crossing from Libya to Italy drop unexpectedly, is Greece again becoming the frontline for refugees trying to reach Europe?
Sea Watch, one of the few NGOs still operating in the region, has seen firsthand the increase in refugees crossing from Turkey to Greece. In absolute terms to numbers do not compare to 2015, but the trend is upwards. With NGOs leaving the islands, the numbers of refugees increasing and the Hellenic Coast Guard struggling with the number of search and rescue operations it must organise, it could just be a matter of time before tragedy again washes up on the coasts of Europe.
Louis Leeson is a reportage photojournalist with a background in documentary film. He studied at the London College of Communication from 2009 to 2012 where he received a First Class BA (Hons) in Photojournalism. Louis works in the UK and internationally for feature film, editorial, and humanitarian organisations. He shoots long-term investigative projects and has covered the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, FGM in The Gambia, and the refugee crisis engulfing Europe and the Middle East.
Louis’ work has been published in the Guardian, the Evening Standard, the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, the Mirror, the International Business Times, Al-Jazeera, Vice News, Broadly, Huck, Nowness, Grazia, Marie Claire, Save the Children, War Child, and more. Louis is represented in the by the picture agency Eyevine.