The refugees telling other refugees to stop dropping rubbish

Pictures of trails of detritus left behind by thousands of asylum seekers travelling across Europe have been widely shared online - but now some are urging their compatriots to stop leaving rubbish everywhere.

Image copyright FACEBOOK/ AHMAD ZOHER
Image caption The text says: "From Hungary, no guys no, don't let them have this perception of us. Plus there will be more people after you so don't ruin it for them".

As thousands of refugees and migrants have moved en masse northward through Europe, they've left a lot of rubbish behind. This photo was taken by a BBC journalist in Hungary.

And the below video was shot at the Hungarian-Austrian border where refugees and migrants boarding buses left behind tents and other items, hoping that they wouldn't need them any more. Unsurprisingly, the piles of rubbish have attracted hundreds of critical comments online, especially from Europeans concerned about refugee numbers. "Scenes to shortly be replicated throughout Europe! God help us all," said one tweet, while another said: "Garbage left on roads and creeks by refugees. This is how they treat their host countries." Thousands of tweets have mentioned the rubbish piles and pictures of the things left behind have been retweeted hundreds of times.

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Media captionPiles of refuse such as tents and other items seen in this BBC report have been left by migrants moving through Europe

But the refugees and migrants are on social media too, and now it seems some are taking notice. In a Facebook group with more than 14,000 members, pictures and messages have been posted by refugees urging fellow travellers to clean up after themselves.

One of those posting photos is a man from Damascus, Ahmad Zoher. He fled to Egypt more than two years ago, and is still there. Much of the rest of his family are in Jordan.

"My friends have been sharing photos on Syrian migrant groups on Facebook and I find the actions of the few could harm our image in Europe," Zoher told BBC Trending. "Europe has opened its doors to us when Arab countries are closing them, they treat us well and the least we can do is show them that we respect their country by keeping it clean."

Zoher says he's hoping to move to Europe at some point, and to be reunited with his family. But he says that while that's not possible in his current situation, he keeps in touch with friends who have made the journey.

"My friends in Hungary said they were told they had to get on a bus immediately so they had no time to clean after themselves. But still we have to be very careful about the impressions we leave in these countries, even if some countries like Hungary are not very welcoming we still have to show them the best side of us."

Blog by Mai Noman and Mike Wendling

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