As actors on the island who work to defend the rights of people on the move, we are deeply concerned about the Samos Closed Controlled Access Centre’s (CCAC) compliance with human rights standards and have, since its opening, called for its closure and for people to be accommodated within communities and in housing that prioritises their dignity. Having witnessed a further deterioration of conditions in the CCAC in recent months, we feel compelled, more than ever, to demand its closure.
The Samos CCAC, one of five in Greece, was heralded by the EU as a more humane approach to migration. However, its inhumanity has been repeatedly highlighted, falling short of human rights standards. In our joint statement we highlight how:
- Unaccompanied children are de facto detained in the so-called “safe zone” of the CCAC for 22h/day. They report to feel detained “in a prison within a prison”.
- People in the CCAC are subjected to intense surveillance and control, including 24/7 CCTV, police, private security, airport-style security, layers of barbed wire fences, check-points and must present themselves twice a day for food.
- The CCAC is a site of restriction of liberty which at times amounts to a deprivation of liberty including de facto detention and its infrastructure mimics the dehumanising architecture of prisons.
- Living conditions in the CCAC have been described by people on the move as prison-like and degrading, with reports of severe cockroach infestations, crowded and unsanitary living conditions, inedible food and non-provision of essential hygiene products.
We, the signing organisations call for:
- The closure of the Samos CCAC and for people to be accommodated within communities and in housing that prioritises human dignity.
- The end of construction of further CCACs in Greece.
- The abandonment of the new EU approach of CCAC, which is far from a humane and dignified response to people seeking safety.