GCR & Oxfam Bulletin_ March 2022

Update on Lesbos and the Aegean Islands, by the Greek Council for Refugees& Oxfam
In September 2021, the Greek government opened the first Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC) on the island of Samos. In this new center, built with €43 million in EU funds, containers with beds and toilets replaced the makeshift tents of the old camp. Yet testimonies collected by the Greek Council for Refugees from people living in the new center and civil society organizations report prison like conditions. Approximately 100 people have not been able to leave the reception center for two months due to an exit ban that the Greek administrative court found amounts to illegal de facto detention. The Ministry of Asylum and Migration takes great pride in the 24/7 surveillance and security control mechanisms of the new center, while at the same time, the medical unit of the facility has no doctor. These hotspots were born from the EU Agenda on Migration of 2015 and the construction of the closed camps are 100% EU funded. EU actors must ensure that the violation of the right to liberty in these centres is not purposefully part of a policy of deterring people from entering Greece, or indeed the EU. Closed centers and human rights violations should not and are not a migration policy strategy. These camps make it impossible for “Europeans to trust that migration is managed in an effective and humane way, fully in line with our [EU] values”.
In December 2021, a GCR delegation visited the Samos CCAC and met with residents, the administration, and civil society organizations operating on the island which provide legal, medical and psychosocial aid to migrants.

Read the Bulletin here

Read here the Testimonies document : Testimonies 

Photos of the new centre in Samos: 




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