Updates from Samos

Dear supporters of I HAVE RIGHTS, as you most probably have noticed we decided to send our updates from Samos now quarterly. The last three months have seen a further increase in asylum seekers reaching the island. At the same time, legal actors on the island have witnessed an increase in violations of procedural rights during the asylum procedure.

Current situation

Over the last three month, the number of people reaching Samos and applying for asylum sharply increased, with now approximately 800 people living in the Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC). Our team is working hard to provide people with legal information and interview preparation.

On 5th September a group of asylum seekers held a protest in the CCAC. The protest was sparked by the Greek authorities issuing 40 rejections in 1 day. Not only did most of these rejections come only a few weeks after people’s asylum interview, they come after legal actors on Samos have noticed flagrant violations of asylum seekers procedural rights in their asylum process. Beneficiaries of I HAVE RIGHTS report that interviews are often set on such short notice that there is no time to reach out for legal information; medical and psychological care in the CCAC is still inadequate which leaves vulnerable asylum seekers without a proper vulnerability assessments and care; interviews increasingly take place with remotely connected interpreters or case workers, making communication difficult. Applicants also report being pressured to rush through their stories. These violations of asylum seekers rights are extremely worrying as they undermine people’s right to a fair and effective asylum procedure.

I HAVE RIGHTS successfully filed an interim measure in front of the The European Court of Human Rights, enforcing the relocation of two asylum seekers to the mainland in order to receive necessary medical treatment.
here for more information.

Our Team

We are happy to welcome new volunteers in our team. Florine, Réka and Eliza are the new case workers of I HAVE RIGHTS, Mai is volunteering as an Arabic interpreter and Phil is new in the advocacy team. At the same time we have said goodbye to Roxy, our Communications & Advocacy Coordinator, who supported us throughout this very exciting year at I HAVE RIGHTS. We are grateful for the collaboration and wish her all the best for the future.

Over the last three months our team saw 96 new beneficiaries, with most of them being from Sierra Leone, with the second biggest nationality being Palestinians and the third being from Syria.

What happens next?

The advocacy and strategic litigation teams are working on several projects which will be published on our website and social media within the next weeks.

In order to provide people with legal information, our team is working at full capacity. To cover incurring costs, we are planning a larger fundraising campaign in the coming months.

Visit our website or social media to stay updated about upcoming publications and events.

Call for team members

We’re looking for people to join the Mental Health Task Force.

see call on website