Updates from Samos


Dear I Have Rights supporters,

While summer is in full swing, an unprecedented heatwave has hit Greece. Its effects on residents of the Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC) are multiplied, and the low amounts of water provided to them – which were not adapted despite the rise of temperatures – make it even harder to bear the heat.

The Pylos shipwreck of June 14, causing the death of more than 80 people and more than 500 disappearances, is the sad result of Greek and European policies and practices. While uncertainties remain and details regarding the shipwreck remain unclear, it is crucial to remember that the failure for authorities to assist people in distress despite having been alerted of the situation constitutes a failure of Search and Rescue obligations. These practices became commonplace throughout Greek territorial waters and violate people’s right to life and the prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment. From the beginning of the year,  31% of I Have Right’s (IHR)  beneficiaries have disclosed experiencing one or more pushbacks.

To stop human rights violations from continuing to occur with impunity, it is essential that the Greek authorities abide by their legal obligations to carry out effective investigations into Pylos – as IHR and other NGOs demand in an open letter.

Our work

  • Legal team:

Since the beginning of 2023, our legal team provided one-to-one legal information to 147 asylum seekers.

  • Advocacy team:

On World Refugee Day, June 20th, the advocacy team published the  report “They are killing minds”, which featured testimony from people held in the CCAC. Divided into five sections – structure of the CCAC, safety, health, food and water, and hygiene – the report provides a glimpse into the appalling living conditions in the CCAC.

  • Strategic litigation task force:

IHR together with the Border Violence Monitoring Network submitted a Third Party Intervention to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in the pushback cases of A.B. v. Greece and D.G. v. Greece. The organisations present evidence of an established practice of pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish land border and demonstrate a lack of access to domestic remedies in Greece for survivors.


Additionally, IHR teamed up with Thessaloniki based Mobile Info Team to provide evidence to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in their assessment of Greece’s implementation of the 2011 M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece judgement. In this landmark ruling, the ECtHR found that, due to systemic deficiencies in asylum procedures, transfers of asylum seekers to Greece under the Dublin Regulation amounted to refoulement. The organisations show that despite the ruling being over 12 years ago, the Greek authorities have still not implemented it, with serious deficiencies in the Greek asylum system and treatment of asylum seekers in Greece persisting.

Our team

IHR is happy to introduce its new team of volunteers!

In July, we had the pleasure to welcome Celia, Letizia and Elo, who will work with us as Caseworkers on Samos for the next 6 months. Giulia and Candice also joined the team as the two new Advocacy and Communications Officers.

We would also like to thank Noa, Coline and Agathe, who recently left Samos, for their involvement within the organisation. Good luck to them for their future projects!

What’s next?


  • IHR is working on a report on the rights of victims of human trafficking in the asylum procedure, with funding support from the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Office in Greece. The report will build on data collected through our legal work supporting victims of human trafficking and it will report on the steps of identification, referral and recovery with a specific focus on the reality in Samos.

  • Over the past months, IHR and the Border Violence Monitoring Network collected testimonies of internal violence against people on the move – meaning all violence carried out inside the Greek territory. These testimonies were analysed and our findings will be published in a report in October on the different types of internal violence faced by asylum seekers.