Detained and Forgotten at the Gates of the EU

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Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Detained and Forgotten at the Gates of the EU

equal-rights.org |16 November 2021|

Report on Systematic Detention of Migrants on Kos

Kos hosts the only pre-removal detention centre on the Eastern Aegean islands. Since January 2020, the Greek authorities have detained nearly every asylum seeker who has arrived on the island of Kos automatically upon arrival. This has historically included survivors of gender-based violence and torture, families with young children, elderly persons, LGBTQIA people, and people suffering from serious physical and mental health conditions.

The automatic detention of asylum seekers is illegal under Greek, EU, and international human rights law, and yet the situation on Kos remains relatively unknown. Equal Rights new report on the Kos pre-removal detention centre sheds light on the ongoing situation on Kos, by documenting the detention practices on the island and living conditions inside the pre-removal detention centre.

The report is divided into two sections, first looking at the legal grounds for detaining asylum seekers and migrants in Greece and the EU before examining the conditions inside the Kos pre-removal detention centre.

In both sections, the report concludes that the practices on Kos violate the law on multiple accounts and fail to protect the rights of asylum seekers who arrive seeking protection on the island. The report raises particular concern about the ongoing practice of detaining rejected asylum seekers with no prospect of return to Turkey, as Turkey has refused to accept returns from Greece since March 2020.

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