Newsletter #3

Dear supporters of I HAVE RIGHTS, another month has passed and so we are writing to you to give you an update from Samos. This month has seen an increase in asylum seekers reaching the island, and so our team is busier than ever. Yet, while we try to support asylum seekers as much as possible, the Greek authorities are putting more obstacles in the way of those seeking protection.

The current situation on Samos

(Still) no consistent access to health care in the CCAC
Since February 2022, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) has not provided a full-time doctor to the CCAC (the camp). This gap has been filled on an ad hoc basis, either with doctors from other islands or from the Samos hospital visiting the CCAC some days per week. This impacts our beneficiaries as they are denied medical support and their asylum interviews are postponed due to the lack of in time medical and vulnerability screenings of new arrivals.

No transfers to the mainland
Vulnerable people, for example those who urgently need medical treatment in Athens, are currently not being transferred to the mainland and are stuck on Samos. Instead, people have to pay for the trip and pay for their new accommodation – which is impossible for many asylum seekers. The team of I HAVE RIGHTS is working to assert the rights of our vulnerable beneficiaries but is still waiting for a reply from the authorities.

EU and Greece’s obstacles in the asylum procedure
As part of Europe’s deterrence and containment policy, the Greek government charges fees of 100€ at key stages of the asylum procedure. If asylum seekers want to submit a subsequent application or if they want to receive their travel documents, they have to pay 100€.
In collaboration with I HAVE RIGHTS the
Skills Factory on Samos has a fundraising art project to support asylum seekers in paying these fees.
Buy one print – support one case! To know more about the proje
ct, please click here:

Art project to support asylum seekers

Our Team

Legal Work
Due to new arrivals to the island, our legal team is operating close to capacity. In the last month we took on 30 new beneficiaries, with many of them being from Sierra Leone.

What happens next?

Meeting with the Special Rapporteur On Human Rights Defenders
Mary Lawlor, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights defenders has accepted our invitation to visit Samos in June to meet with us and other actors. Our meeting will focus on the fact that I HAVE RIGHTS faces the risk of being criminalised because we support asylum seekers and advocate against pushbacks.

New report about life in the Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC) of Samos: “A Life Without Freedom Is Not A Life”
On Monday, the 20th of June – World Refugee Day – I HAVE RIGHTS will publish a report on the living conditions in the CCAC. It is the second report resulting from the collaboration between members of the Samos Advocacy Collective and researchers, facilitated by Europe Must Act. Through ongoing semi-structured interviews with residents of the Samos CCAC, the project aims to amplify the voices and concerns of camp residents and challenge the use of closed reception facilities.
The new report can be found on Monday on our website and Social Media!

See you next month!

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