Read the latest reports by major news organisations.
An quantitative overview of the situation on the Aegean Islands by UNHCR .
Where is Samos?
Explore the map to understand Samos in relation to the other Aegean Islands.
Enduring Winter on samos
A report by Al Jazeera’s John Psaropoulos
situation overview: samos
Samos is a small island in the Aegean Sea. It is situated just 1 mile from the coast of Turkey. Over the past years, this proximity to Turkey has made it a major entry point for refugees seeking asylum in Europe. But since the EU-Turkey Statement in March 2016, tens of thousands of asylum seekers have been forced to stay on the island. This has put such extreme stress on the island’s infrastructure that the result is a humanitarian catastrophe. With neither adequate shelter nor appropriate services in health, legal support, education and hygiene, thousands of asylum seekers are sleeping rough for months on end throughout freezing winters and scorching summers. The camp of Vathy has a capacity for 650 residents, but reports claim that over 3000 are forced to live outside the camp in surrounding forests.
Currently, there are thought to be over 4,400 asylum seekers living in and around Vathy Camp. Latest figures by UNHCR reveal that of these, almost 1000 are under the age of 18, many unaccompanied. In total, almost 40% of the camp’s population are youth, under the age of 24. Despite this, there is still no formal schooling available to children.All current centres, run exclusively by non-governmental organisations, operate at full capacity, with extensive waiting lists.