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Samos Hotspot

Still I Rise was founded in 2018 on the island of Samos, Greece, with the aim of countering Europe’s policy of containment and deterrence against those seeking Peace and Freedom in Europe.

Parliamentary questions

In 2018, at the peak of the migration crisis, the Samos hotspot, designed to accommodate 648 people, housed more than 7,000, many of them unaccompanied minors. Overcrowded containers and encampments in the surrounding forest were the devastating reality, with thousands of people exposed to 'the elements without any adequate protection. The conditions were inhumane: extreme overcrowding, lack of essential services and gaps in the system for registering minors, thus exposing them to risk, violence and serious cases of self-harm. In response to this situation, Still I Rise took unprecedented legal action against those responsible for the hotspot.

The echo of our complaint led to two parliamentary questions in the European Parliament, addressed to both the European Commission and the Greek government. Our battle, however, did not stop with this complaint. Together with the Greek Council for Refugees and ASGI, we initiated proceedings that resulted in a landmark decision by the European Court of Human Rights, which recognized the alleged violation of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which enshrines the prohibition of torture and degrading treatment.

After this victory, we continued to document the impact of restrictions from COVID-19 in the Samos hotspot with the report "Locked in and Neglected," again bringing the attention of European institutions to the critical situation on the island. Over the years, we have continued to expose the refoulements and inhumane conditions in the island's new Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC), but we have also contributed to the official recognition of the Greek government's violations of children's rights by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child. Our educational mission on the island of Samos ended in May 2022, however, we continue to fight in defense of the human rights of refugees and migrants.

Still I Rise

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