rsaegean.org | 3 March 2023
What is happening today in the refugee structures on the Aegean islands
Seven years after signing the toxic EU-Turkey "agreement", the East Aegean islands remain "black holes" for the fundamental rights of applicants for international protection. According to recent data, arrivals had increased significantly in late 2022 and early 2023. At the same time, allegations of deterrence practices and informal forced returns (pushbacks) at maritime borders continue. In the Closed Controlled Access Centres (CCAC) in Samos, Kos and Leros - the construction of which was 100% financed by the European Union - as well as in those in Lesvos and Chios, asylum seekers and their children live in remote areas with disproportionate security and surveillance measures, facing reported violent behaviour by security authorities and with significant shortcomings in legal assistance, medical care and interpretation. Shortcomings can be observed even in basic necessities due to delays in competitions, the withdrawal of NGOs, but also due to delays in the provision of the monthly financial assistance allowances provided for asylum seekers.