Finally, RSA and PRO ASYL demand that family reunification of asylum-seekers with relatives in Germany should no longer be systematically undermined. Authorities believe that the fires were intentionally set. The association requested the amount of 50.000 Euro and accused the teacher, who defended the rights of refugee pupils, of insulting them when, as they alleged asked them «are you racist?», something that the teacher herself is denying. In view of the precarious reception situation on the mainland, everything possible must be done with European support to ensure that decent standards are created there. Under the catastrophic living conditions in the Greek hotspots, there is no rule of law. But, as special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports, on the Greek island of Samos, the crisis is far from over. The problems have led to unacceptable conditions in the camps, where the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières reported an increase in claims of harassment, sexual assault and other forms of violence. Half of the refugees … An EU-funded refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos built to house 640 people is home to 3,745, with unaccompanied children forced to sleep on … Samos is one of five islands that house refugees in the eastern part of Greece. Astonishingly, only two fully-equipped refugee first-reception centers exist in Greece, on the islands of Lesbos and Samos. The auditors said it took on average over four years for an asylum application lodged in 2015 to reach the final appeal stage. This small friendly community of Samos is handling the refugee crisis and its influx of volunteers, security, and refugees grace.They’re not perfect and the Greeks have a pretty flawed organizational system, but they’re doing a pretty damn good job, better than most countries. [7] On 14 October, a fire broke out in the hotspot resulting in hundreds of refugees abandoning the area. Sadly, the healthcare pressures of the pandemic have also affected the Samos refugee camp: while the camp is on lockdown, patients’ access to healthcare has been further restricted. Lesbos, Chios and Samos were all major tourist centers but in 2015, a flood of refugees fleeing war in Syria and beyond turned up on their shores, risking … At the peak of the migration crisis, EU countries set a target of relocating 160,000 newly arrived migrants. Such is the case of as 17-year-old unaccompanied refugee who lives in tent with adults and feels exposed even to sexual harassment or violence. Overcrowding in the Samos hotspot is not something new as already since the summer of 2018, the population that resided there was six times more than its official capacity. All the dead, they were babies, kids and their mothers." However, the law has not been implemented in practice as the issuance of a Joint Ministerial Decision is pending. The refugees spoke about their entrapment and the unbearable reception conditions that create a permanent humanitarian crisis with no end in sight. Can art help to convey the bigger context of the crisis? On Samos, there is just one small hospital, which already struggles to serve the 6,500 Greek citizens of Samos town. My time is spent with an NGO called Samos Volunteers (SV) a grassroots movement aiding the European migrant crisis. Willing countries could use the existing legal route within[KG1] the framework of the Dublin procedure in the interest of child protection. RSA and PRO ASYL are demanding a large-scale relocation programme from Greece: the hotspots must be cleared. The conditions in the refugee camp on the island of Samos, Greece, are abysmal. Residents of the Greek island of Samos are divided on how to deal with the overcrowded refugee camp there. In the dirt tracks that lead to the top of the hillside of the informal camp, adults with children carry almost non-stop with barrows water containers from the taps installed by MSF in central points. Last month, a fire broke out in the camp after a brawl in town between rival groups of Syrians and Afghans. At the same time, it does appear that there is a plan for the creation of basic structures in Vathy town for e.g. Our beaches are as beautiful as ever and the hotels, restaurants and shops are waiting to make your stay memorable. Samos … The second fire in one week broke out in the refugee camp on Samos on … It is like they cook for animals». Refugees and migrants make their way in the Kara Tepe camp on Lesbos. She says: «I am scared. Samos has … Fire at the camp on the island of Samos. Greece: Refugees suffering on Samos. Today on ‘The Daily’: The Forgotten Refugee Crisis in Europe Hosted by Megan Twohey; produced by Daniel Guillemette, Stella Tan, Neena … A shortage of doctors to assess the vulnerability of applicants was said to be a key factor. In Italy, the large number of appeals against decisions has led to a backlog. Unlike the previous 11 months the flow of refugees to the island has slowed down dramatically since the EU/Turkey pact came into force at the … Donate. The minor until now has no effective access to a psychologist or a doctor and has received no protection or special care as an unaccompanied minor despite his stay on the island for many months. We are trying to remain calm but the situation is not manageable ... it gets worse every day. After hearing of this devastating earthquake we wanted to help although far away and during a global pandemic! Samos: grim winter leads to protests by refugees living in limbo on Greek island January 24, 2019 11.44am EST Gemma Bird , University of Liverpool , … In many points of the hillside, refugees are building shacks with stones, wood and tarpaulin in order to protect themselves from the cold. We are past the red line. (a joint PRO ASYL / Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) Policy Note) 14th June 2017 Greek Hotspots: Deaths Not to Be…, Statewatch has leaked a version of the code of contact the European Commission has demanded that INGOs involved in SAR…, At the end of October the Ministry of Migration Policy has decided to decongest 2000 people from overcrowded hot-spots in…, Phone: +30 22711 03721 The decision is expected in the forthcoming months. Today, the Aegean islands continue to house large refugee camps. ... also took place on the islands of Chios and Samos… The refugee camp, built to accommodate 600 people, now houses 4,118 and there are huge problems with the plumbing and toilets. Refugee Crisis: 'Dark Day' For Samos Volunteers. Because of fear during the night, you cannot go to the toilet. "We, the people who live here, we oppose this idea of a camp," says an angry Nikos Ftinogiannis. Refugee4Refugees is a non-governmental organization, with no political, religious, or ethnic affiliation that works at the front line of the humanitarian crisis in Greece. Members of Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) have visited the island recently and spoke with refugees residing inside and outside the hotspot. [14] Following the reform of asylum legislation, it is expected that there will be a need for increased legal assistance for asylum-seekers as the appeal document against the first instance decision rejecting the asylum claim must refer obligatorily to specific grounds upon which the appeal is based θα πρέπει υποχρεωτικά (Article 93 of Law 4636/1.11.2019). Nearly 20,000 refugees live in and around the site of the camp, which has a capacity of less than 3,000 people. Messenger As winter took its toll in January on the Aegean island of Samos, the refugee population stuck there have held peaceful protestsagainst their conditions. Despite the diversity of the people living in the camp, they all have one thing in common: the need for access to basic healthcare. Theme: Poverty & Social Inequality. Will You Help Those Suffering From the Food Crisis In Zambia? They wait for hours to be seen to. Protect the most vulnerable to ensure protection for everyone! I bought blankets but when it rains we are unprotected. window.mc4wp = window.mc4wp || { Charity founder appeals for donations for Samos refugees. According to the European Commission, Greece has benefitted from 2.07 billion euros of EU support for the refugee crisis, since 2015. The situation is difficult mainly for children. Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website. Authorities were said to be unable to identify all potential candidates and successfully channel them towards applying for relocation. The majority of the people, both refugees and locals alike, experience enduring poverty, few jobs and low pay. Our baby cannot breathe, and I get out with him outside our container, so he can breathe. I am not safe, because I do not have a family I do not have anyone to help me. The Northern Aegean islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios will be in total lockdown on Wednesday 22nd January, as local councils decided to go on a 24-hour strike to protest the government’s handling on the refugee and migration crisis. News Published: Jan 5, 2020. callback: cb We do not feel at ease and we do not feel secure» The woman lives in a tent with her four children, two of those are minors. In the bottom part of the hillside, where one shack is nearly next to another which can be reached only if one crosses labyrinthine alleys, among the tarpaulins and the tents, we found a 57-year-old woman from Afghanistan. In January, the Civil Servants’ Confederation (ADEDY) reported that a teacher together with other colleagues was attacked during a meeting of the Samos Parents’ Associations. Unprotected unaccompanied refugee children. The island of Samos is our homeland and our “happy place” and it has endured so much in the last decade between the economic crisis, the refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Samos (Greece) (AFP) - For many of those who live on the Greek Aegean island of Samos it is absolutely clear -- they want no more refugees, no new camps and to be left alone as they were before the migrant crisis broke in 2015. [12] All the provided services of non-formal education concern a limited number of children and have a temporary nature. The refugee camp, set just metres away from the city centre is becoming increasingly resented by the local population. Protests of several thousand also took place on the islands of Chios and Samos… What we do Refugee4Refugees is a non-governmental organization, with no political, religious, or ethnic affiliation that works at the front line of the humanitarian crisis in Greece. Today, the Aegean islands continue to house large refugee camps. Those seeking protection must be transferred to the mainland, temporarily accommodated in dignity until they are quickly transferred to other EU states. Greek refugee crisis: "How could this ever become normality?" [13] At the same time, there are cases of unaccompanied children who live in the informal camp surrounding the hotspot that have not been identified yet by the competent authorities as well as those of unaccompanied children registered as adults. The second fire in one week broke out in the refugee camp on Samos on Sunday evening. On 'Mount Syria', in the Aegean island of Samos in Greece, the majority of the 7,000+ refugees are facing a cold winter living in tents and shacks having fled war-zones. One of the regular, daily sights in Samos town now are the queues of up to 50 people at each of these offices. The European commission has accepted a series of recommendations in the report, including the upgrading of facilities. Now this! The refugees spoke about their entrapment and the unbearable reception conditions that create a permanent humanitarian crisis with no end in sight. Refugees must have their passports scanned and need to be fingerprinted. public toilets or showers in order to cover the increasing needs and reports continue of xenophobic conduct by local businessmen and residents. Men account for around 50 percent of the population, and women for 20 percent. … Countries such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have refused to fulfil their obligations. Regarding the provision of legal assistance, there is no registered lawyer of the state-funded legal aid scheme on the island. Credit: Esaam Daod/ Twitter. The refugee camp on the Greek resort island of Samos – the camp has space for 650 people but is currently home to almost 7,000. But there were also major systemic problems making the schemes unattractive to applicants. See, According to UNHCR data invoked by SYRIZA MP Nikos Filis in a question he submitted about the delays of the Ministry of Education regarding the education of refugee children in Samos RIC, there are 1.600 school-age children and none is attending school.https://www.avgi.gr/article/10811/10490494/erotese-katethese-o-nikos-philes-gia-tis-tragikes-kathystereseis-sten-ekpaideuse-ton-prosphygopoulon. Refugees and migrants make their way in the Kara Tepe camp on Lesbos. The situation in Vathy on Samos is at its limits because of the continuously increasing overcrowding, the gaps in health and pharmaceutical care, the tensions between refugees of different nationalities inside and outside the hotspot that on many occasions are the result of the dire conditions and of the intense aggravation expressed by the locals for the daily presence of a large number of refugees in the town. The meeting concerned the education of refugee children. The conditions are particularly difficult also inside the hotspot. «My child is ill. Other children were found to be living in makeshift tents or in derelict buildings on the outskirts of the camp in what the special report from the European court of auditors described as “dire conditions”. Photograph: Elias Marcou/Reuters Lesbos is not the only Aegean island dealing with a growing mental health crisis. The public buses would be museum … According to the official statistics, the total number of refugees on the island of Samos has reached more than 7,900 individuals, which is approximately the number of the permanent population in the broader region of Vathy. Samos' burden is disproportionate to its size, due to its geography and because Greece's northern land border is closed to migrants. An indicative example of the extent of the humanitarian crisis in the informal camp outside Vathy hotspot is the fact that according to MSF in September, each refugee had at his/her disposal only 1.5 liters of safe potable water. It should be noted here that on Samos a limited number of specific medicines is reportedly provided by NGOs. The living conditions for unaccompanied or separated refugee children are exceedingly concerning. According to data by UNHCR, the majority of refugees and migrants on Samos comes from Syria (35 %), Afghanistan (21%) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (14%). As with other Greek Aegean islands, Samos used to be a popular tourist destination, but the migration crisis in 2015 brought more than 911,000 refugees and migrants into Europe, with many arriving first on islands in Greece. Refugee camp on Samos (photo Greg Mills) The popular tourist island of Kos some 200km to Samos’s south, became the defining image of the crisis when the body of … Vulnerable refugees who do not have the ability to stand in the queue for food or cook by themselves such as people with disabilities or the elderly receive meals from the so-called Project Armonia in the town centre. The cause was the beginning of the operation of a Structure for the Support and Education of Refugees (DYEP) attended by 14 refugee children in that particular school building. Samos Asylum-seekers living in the Vathy Reception and Identification Centre most commonly hail from Syria, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Palestine. Perhaps it's worse than ever. It was popular for island vacations with an emphasis on hiking and adventures. Germany systematically rejects applications for take-over by family members from Greece on the grounds that time limits have expired. 30 % of the population are children (7 out of 10 are below 12 years-old) while the percentage of women reaches 21 % of the population. An EU-funded refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos built to house 640 people is home to 3,745, with unaccompanied children forced to sleep on the floor of windowless and overcrowded containers, an official audit has revealed. Additionally, legal assistance is provided by lawyers of the NGOs Avocats Sans Frontières of the Law Clinic. ); The conditions remain exceedingly dangerous despite the multiple reports and media publications for the unbearable situation that persists in the hotspot for years now because of the overcrowding and insufficiency of necessary provisions and despite the protests of the refugees and the island’s residents. Although thousands of refugees have transited through Samos Island in Greece, there’s little evidence of them along the beaches. M., a man from Syria, lives with his family in a large container that they share with other families. [6] Those who do not live in a container and do not have the ability to cook their own food are forced to wait for more than three hours in a queue in order to get a meal. forms: { [11] It should be noted that last March, there were intense reactions by part of the Parents’ Associations that decide for the pupils to abstain from their classes in a primary school of Vathy. RSA and PRO ASYL appeal for unaccompanied underage refugees from Greece to be admitted quickly in Germany and other European countries – in the best interest of the child! Refugees and migrants disembark from a ferry at the port of Elefsina, near Athens, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. The Refugee Crisis in the Greek Islands: Dog Days on Samos. We are looking forward to get out of this hell», says O. a 45-year-old man from Iraq. Samos is one of five islands that house refugees in the eastern part of Greece. By Sofiane Ait Chalalet and Chris Jones. The 12 year economic and social crisis has been crippling. Global Research, April 29, 2016. It’s the relative size of the Samos refugee … In the town centre, there is an MSF clinic that provides mental health and sexual/reproductive health services to pregnant women and victims of sexual violence [9], as well as a clinic of the NGO Med’ Equali. Giorgos Stantzos, the Mayor of Eastern Samos, threatened to quit recently in case that the government implemented its plan for a closed structure of large capacity. Region: Europe. According to information collected, the National Organization for Public Health (NOPH) has the following staff in the hotspot: One doctor who conducts the screening of new arrivals; four nurses; two psychologists; two social workers; two midwives; and one coordinator. Since the decidedly nefarious EU-Turkey refugee deal in early 2016, that loosely involved 'illegal arrivals' on EU shores being swapped for Syrian refugees in Turkey and 1.5 billion Euros aid for Greece. The couple lives in a tent outside the hotspot. The hotspot psychologist told me a psychiatrist must see me. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Parents and children have hardly chances to exercise their right to family reunification. Most of the people live outside the high fence, in an olive grove, in small summer tents or self-built sheds made of wooden posts and plastic sheets. Nearly 20,000 refugees live in and around the site of the camp, which has a capacity of less than 3,000 people. Dignified conditions in an open centre for a small number of refugees, appears to be the only solution to improve the situation». They wait for hours to be seen to. «I am sick constantly during the three months that I am on Samos. The deaths are the latest in a string of tragedies in the Aegean Sea But in Samos, the situation is worse, since most of the recent arrivals have headed there. Firefighters tackled a blaze at a refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos on Wednesday morning, November 11, which is said to have burned through tents and several structures. He says: «…. REFUGEES on the Greek island of Samos have faced extreme violence, losing loved ones and uprooted families only to be stranded on the island in awful conditions, a Guernsey charity worker has said. «I spend all day waiting in the queue for food. RSA had noted also last February the particularly precarious conditions that refugees faced. Before the refugee crisis-hit Europe, Samos was just another Greek island. "This was a dark day," Alexandros says as he shows us video footage of the dive to recover the bodies. Recently, the only thing that bothered me day and night was to find something to eat. Greece: Firefighters tackle blaze at Samos refugee camp November 11 Firefighters tackle blaze at Samos refugee camp on November 11; follow authority directives. Alexandros says. Exactly … [1]. That is nearly 12 times more that the hotspot’s official capacity which is for 648 persons. Pushed back from Samos island . According to the official statistics, the total number of refugees on the island of Samos has reached more than 7,900 individuals, which is approximately the number of the permanent population in the broader region of Vathy. The two organizations also call Greece to abandon the recently announced measures for the creation of closed centres with capacity for thousands of individuals and extensive detention that will breach blatantly the rights of refugees and migrants and will intensify xenophobic reactions – that have been created to a great extent due to the toxic impact of the EU-Turkey deal- in local communities. There are no toilets near our tents. Image credit: S. Balaskas. Some volunteers gave us sleeping bags». Reportedly, three containers were burned in the area that houses unaccompanied minors. [10] There are also significant gaps on Samos in relation to health and pharmaceutical care for refugees. Falafel Cat … «I made this house by myself with wood and plastic that I bought. It is known for its wine, its small size, and, now, for chronic overcrowding. In the area where the project is hosted, refugees can get food and dine there. At the end of November, 363 unaccompanied or separated children lived in the hotspot and only 65 of those lived in a designated area while the remaining of the children had to stay in an area with adults. The stay of individuals in need of international protection in inappropriate and dangerous conditions must not become normalcy, under the indifferent gaze of the other EU Member States. Refugee crisis: 11 drown off Greek island of Samos, including four babies. I am here for four months. Every woman is scared. We have a beautiful nature but a refugee camp that defies humanity. Email: [email protected], I have read and agree to the terms & conditions. Any random event ... could lead to terrible results. — Samos Volunteers (@samosvolunteers) November 11, 2020 In September, a series of fires destroyed Greece's largest refugee camp , Moria, … This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages. In early November, more than 5.500 asylum-seekers and refugees received cash assistance in the form of pre-paid cards. (function() { Many people from the informal camp try to cook in makeshift ovens they built with soil and stones on the ground. We walk up the mountain on narrow well-trodden paths, over rubbish and sewage ditches, through mud. The municipal council asked the closure of the hotspot and the materialization of a plan for a new reception centre with capacity for 1.200 persons in Zervou that is already at the initial stages of construction. Source: UNHCR, Samos Weekly Snapshot 18-24 Νοεμβρίου 2019, A week ago, the Union of Samos Firefighters send a letter to various authorities including the Samos Prosecutor’s Office where they expressed their concerns for the situation that exists in the track around the hotspot with the building of makeshift shacks and the difficult of secure crossing of fire trucks in case of a potential fire. Why Samos? NGO Still I Rise provides non-formal education activities to children aged 13-17 Samos Volunteers offer language lessons to young people over 16 and adults. } In the period of 21-27 October, 766 individuals were transferred but between 18-24 November, only 28 individuals were transferred from Samos to the mainland.[5]. ... Samos, and Chios. environment security GRC Event. Charity founder appeals for donations for Samos refugees News Published: Jan 5, 2020 REFUGEES on the Greek island of Samos have faced extreme violence, losing loved ones and uprooted families only to be stranded on the island in awful conditions, a Guernsey charity worker has said. Bayer staff member Daniela Neuendorf was there as a humanitarian aid worker. Hili Perlson, August 12, 2016 The initiative Action for Education also provides non-formal education activities for young adults aged 18-24 and also for young children (aged 2-7) in a separate area named The Nest. Residents of the Greek island of Samos are divided on how to deal with the overcrowded refugee camp there. })(); This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. But tensions are rising. “People are camping in dry stream beds,” Stantzos told Agence France-Presse. The Greek island of Samos, only a mile from mainland Turkey, soon found itself home to thousands of refugees. It is impossible for me to learn something». There were no immediate reports of injuries or what caused the fire. In the schools of North and South Aegean, the DYEP have not started to operate so far this year. She and her team also passed on donations to the refugees – including urgently needed shoes. The only thing that the state and organizations gave us are blankets, water and food» says A., a Syrian male who lives with his wife and four children in a makeshift shack on the top side of the hill. There is also one army doctor who reportedly works at the hotspot for three hours every day. Food is not sufficient and of not good quality. And the worst of the cold is yet to come. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. The auditors found that relocation schemes in Italy and Greece, which is the focus of their report, had underperformed mainly due to the very low share of potentially eligible migrants registering for relocation. Malcolm Brabant: Works for the build of a new structure have already started in an area called Zervou that is situated 5 km away from Vathy town. In Samos town there are 2 Western Union and 2 MoneyGram offices where refugees can both receive and send money. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. The creation of a new structure with announced capacity of 5,000 plus people, few kilometres away from Vathy, has intensified the existing xenophobic climate on the island. Residents of the Greek island of Samos are divided on how to deal with the overcrowded refugee camp there. A part of the needs mainly for vulnerable refugees is covered by the presence of volunteers and NGOs and the solidarity by part of the local population and the refugees who support each other. I have problems with my papers. Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences! The decision of the general strike was made during a conference call by … We live in summer tent in the jungle [he refers to the forest area surrounding the hotspot] and no one informs us on when we will be transferred to the mainland. UN asks Greece to fix bottlenecks for the largest influx of refugees since the crisis’ 2015-16 peak. Mission Refugee4Refugees aims to offer sustainable support, humanitarian assistance and emergency response to migrants from all nationalities who arrive at the shores of Lesvos and Samos seeking asylum in Europe. These are strange days on Samos. Although thousands of refugees have transited through Samos Island in Greece, there’s little evidence of them along the beaches. I attend English classes to an NGO in town, but I cannot concentrate. Leo Brincat, a member of the team responsible for the report, called for all EU institutions and member states to step up and avoid passing the buck. Close; Volunteer; Give Now; Aid for Refugees on Samos Island. Out of those, only 270 individuals – characterized as exceptionally vulnerable – reside in 52 flats on the island. The situation at Greek facilities on Samos and at the island of Lesbos are described as “highly critical in terms of capacity and the situation of unaccompanied minors”, due to a failure of the bloc’s relocation and return scheme for migrants coming to Europe from countries such as Syria. Children suffering from breathing problems, diarrhoea and skin problems even bites from mice during the time they slept are reportedly being transferred to the hospital. The area is neighbouring with the village of Mytilinioi, where residents have expressed repeatedly their opposition towards these plans. } Many of the children suffer from diarrhoea», says an Afghan mother. Shortage of doctors to assess the vulnerability of applicants was said to be a key factor businessmen residents. Family I do not have anyone to help although far away and during a pandemic... 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