As regular readers of Samos Chronicles will know it is place of paradoxes and horrors. Refugees and migrants disembark from a ferry at the port of Elefsina, near Athens, on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019. Malcolm Brabant: In early November, more than 5.500 asylum-seekers and refugees received cash assistance in the form of pre-paid cards. But, as special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports, on the Greek island of Samos, the crisis is far from over. 2) that will secure access to health care services. RSA and PRO ASYL are demanding a large-scale relocation programme from Greece: the hotspots must be cleared. 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. It is impossible for me to learn something». on: function(evt, cb) { The 12 year economic and social crisis has been crippling. The European court of auditors made their visit to the camps in February. 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. Greece: Refugees suffering on Samos. 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. It is worrying that the transfers of vulnerable refugees from Samos to the mainland have reduced significantly in the last month. Aid for Refugees on Samos Island People landing in Greece after fleeing violence in their home countries require items to meet basic needs. M., a man from Syria, lives with his family in a large container that they share with other families. Willing countries could use the existing legal route within[KG1] the framework of the Dublin procedure in the interest of child protection. It’s the relative size of the Samos refugee … A shortage of doctors to assess the vulnerability of applicants was said to be a key factor. 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. } Residents of the Greek island of Samos are divided on how to deal with the overcrowded refugee camp there. He says: «…. Regarding the provision of legal assistance, there is no registered lawyer of the state-funded legal aid scheme on the island. SAMOS, Greece — On the slope of a hill on Samos, the Greek island known for its ancient ruins, colorful fishing villages and sweet muscat wine, sits a … S. a young Somali and victim of torture, describes: «I have two blankets and sleep with my jacket to keep warm. [7] On 14 October, a fire broke out in the hotspot resulting in hundreds of refugees abandoning the area. He says: «We have 2 m2 to sleep. Now this! 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. Authorities were said to be unable to identify all potential candidates and successfully channel them towards applying for relocation. At the same time, it does appear that there is a plan for the creation of basic structures in Vathy town for e.g. Can art help to convey the bigger context of the crisis? «My child is ill. I am here for four months. Unprotected unaccompanied refugee children. During the night, the atmosphere is unberable. Every woman is scared. Food is not sufficient and of not good quality. 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. The entrapment of such a large number of people in these conditions pushes the local society in continuous protests and xenophobia. Close; Volunteer; Give Now; Aid for Refugees on Samos Island. Refugee crisis: 11 drown off Greek island of Samos, including four babies. Pushed back from Samos island . Greek refugee crisis: "How could this ever become normality?" They tell me constantly «come tomorrow», says Μ. a 62-year-old man from Afghanistan. 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%). Refugees must have their passports scanned and need to be fingerprinted. The hotspot psychologist told me a psychiatrist must see me. 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. Currently, there are over 7,600 individuals living inside and around Samos hotspot. Despite the provision of assistance by NGOs and volunteers, the situation remains unbearable for the thousands of refugees who are trapped in the informal camp that has been established for some years now outside the hotspot. 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 … 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. 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. 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. Region: Europe. ... Lesbos is not the only Aegean island dealing with a growing mental health crisis. 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. Countries such as Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have refused to fulfil their obligations. The living conditions for unaccompanied or separated refugee children are exceedingly concerning. «I spend all day waiting in the queue for food. It is like they cook for animals». Outside the hotspot, there is now a densely populated shantytown. The deaths are the latest in a string of tragedies in the Aegean Sea 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. In this part of the informal camp, no toilets or taps have been installed because of the sharp dip of the ground. Many refugees stay stranded on Samos for months to years, waiting for a decision on their asylum. Refugees camped out on the port of Mytilini, Lesvos. It’s not the absolute numbers that are impressive or problematic, or the numbers by comparison to the scale of Africa’s refugee crisis. The European commission has accepted a series of recommendations in the report, including the upgrading of facilities. (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 Germany systematically rejects applications for take-over by family members from Greece on the grounds that time limits have expired. 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. In the area where the project is hosted, refugees can get food and dine there. In Italy, the large number of appeals against decisions has led to a backlog. Any random event ... could lead to terrible results. The situation at the camp was described as ‘highly critical’ in the report. 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. According to the European Commission, Greece has benefitted from 2.07 billion euros of EU support for the refugee crisis, since 2015. Finally, RSA and PRO ASYL demand that family reunification of asylum-seekers with relatives in Germany should no longer be systematically undermined. Exactly … callback: cb [2], Since the end of September, Médecins sans frontières (MSF) secured the provision of safe potable water to the population that currently resides outside the hotspot, by installing taps (270,000 liters of water are distributed each week) while in November they installed 80 chemical toilets. Following the government’s decision last July to stop granting social security numbers (AMKA) to asylum-seekers, new arrivals and those who already do not have AMKA do not have access to free public health and pharmaceutical care. Reviews On Samos, Greece, a Show Takes an Intimate Look at the Refugee Crisis. Photograph: Elias Marcou/Reuters Lesbos is not the only Aegean island dealing with a growing mental health crisis. There is so much cold at night. Alexandros says. There are so many dimensions to the refugee business and money sending is just one other. The meeting concerned the education of refugee children. Many people from the informal camp try to cook in makeshift ovens they built with soil and stones on the ground. Sign Up (Pictures supplied by Anna Pantelia from the French … The majority of the people, both refugees and locals alike, experience enduring poverty, few jobs and low pay. In many points of the hillside, refugees are building shacks with stones, wood and tarpaulin in order to protect themselves from the cold. The recent law on asylum (Law 4636/1.11.2019) provides the granting of a Temporary Number of Insurance and Health Care for Third Country Nationals to asylum-seekers (Article 55 para. Interview: “Danger lurks everywhere in Afghanistan”, RSA Comments on the International Protection Bill, Voices of refugees three days after the destruction of Moria camp, Refugees trapped on Kos: An unspeakable crisis in reception conditions, New Pact on Migration and Asylum: old ‘recipes’ with dangerous ingredients codify derogations from legality and undermine the rule of law and the rights of refugees, Asylum statistics for 2020 should be published and unpacked, Lesvos-Moria nightmare for thousands of refugees, Majority of asylum seekers in need of international protection, according to Eurostat first instance asylum statistics, Code of Conduct for INGOs Involved in SAR Operations in the Mediterranean, Greece Refugee Policy State of Play: Reality Dictates Policy, Authorities Prepare again to crack down on Rule of Law, Official reactions and positions on push backs: a timeline. 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 , … Men account for around 50 percent of the population, and women for 20 percent. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. We close the windows as there are mice everywhere outside. It is known for its wine, its small size, and, now, for chronic overcrowding. } Nearly 20,000 refugees live in and around the site of the camp, which has a capacity of less than 3,000 people. Unaccompanied children sleeping on floors at facility on island of Samos, EU audit says, Last modified on Wed 13 Nov 2019 20.55 GMT. { But there were also major systemic problems making the schemes unattractive to applicants. 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. I am not safe, because I do not have a family I do not have anyone to help me. Today on ‘The Daily’: The Forgotten Refugee Crisis in Europe Hosted by Megan Twohey; produced by Daniel Guillemette, Stella Tan, Neena … In Samos town there are 2 Western Union and 2 MoneyGram offices where refugees can both receive and send money. I bought blankets but when it rains we are unprotected. Refugee 4 Refugees is a non-governmental organization, with no political, religious, or ethnic affiliation that works at the front line of the humanitarian crisis in Greece. At the end of October, a Samos court examined a civil lawsuit lodged by the Parents’ and Guardians’ Association of the Ano Vathy Primary School against a substitute female teacher. [12] All the provided services of non-formal education concern a limited number of children and have a temporary nature. The fire destroyed a large part of the hotspot including tents and containers. })(); This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. 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. 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. Mission. [Camp residents] organise their own housing, water supply and sanitation in completely primitive ways. 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. Fax: +30 22711 00466 He says that he has already attempted three times serious self-harm as he cannot stand the situation he experiences. Michalis Mitsos is the head of the Samos Bar Owners Association. 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. A total of ten lawyers from the NGOs Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), METAdrasi, PRAKSIS, ARSIS and MSF provide advice and legal representation for asylum procedures and further administrative procedures. However, a formal response published alongside the report added that “the responsibility to establish a sustainable system for unaccompanied minors lies with the Greek authorities, and not with the commission”. At the refugee camp in Samos, Greece, more than 7,000 people are living in poor conditions and with inadequate facilities . Bayer staff member Daniela Neuendorf was there as a humanitarian aid worker. We walk up the mountain on narrow well-trodden paths, over rubbish and sewage ditches, through mud. Basic services have collapsed. Κ. is a single woman from Cameroon and she tells us about the fear she experiences: «I do not feel secure. Last month, a fire broke out in the camp after a brawl in town between rival groups of Syrians and Afghans. Many of the children suffer from diarrhoea», says an Afghan mother. The decision is expected in the forthcoming months. 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. Refugee Crisis: 'Dark Day' For Samos Volunteers. Additionally, legal assistance is provided by lawyers of the NGOs Avocats Sans Frontières of the Law Clinic. 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. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. Why Samos? “Seventy-eight unaccompanied minors were in tents or abandoned derelict houses outside the hot spot, in unofficial extensions to the facility,” the auditors said. 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. "We, the people who live here, we oppose this idea of a camp," says an angry Nikos Ftinogiannis. But tensions are rising. Samos Chronicles. event : evt, The auditors’ findings were echoed on Wednesday in appeals made by the mayor of Samos, Georgios Stantzos, who warned of riots due to the “primitive” conditions. Residents of the Greek island of Samos are divided on how to deal with the overcrowded refugee camp there. Will You Help Those Suffering From the Food Crisis In Zambia? Charity founder appeals for donations for Samos refugees. At least 3.500 individuals (including many vulnerable) are forced to to live in tents or makeshift shacks with very little protection from the weather conditions and lack of essential access to WASH facilities and basic relief items. According to Tsunami hit Samos. 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. ... also took place on the islands of Chios and Samos… Despite the diversity of the people living in the camp, they all have one thing in common: the need for access to basic healthcare. [10] There are also significant gaps on Samos in relation to health and pharmaceutical care for refugees. we raise awareness about the conditions on samos for refugees and asylum seekers and advocate human rights and human dignity Our work We support some of the world’s most vulnerable people, offering psycho-social support, informal education, recreational activities, women’s and quiet space, and emergency laundry services. Dignified conditions in an open centre for a small number of refugees, appears to be the only solution to improve the situation». 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