Samos, Europe's Shame

Guest blog by Nicolò Govoni (text) and Nicoletta Novara (photos), from Still I Rise team

It looks like a refugee camp bordering Syria, yet this is Europe. The hotspot on Samos is managed by the Greek government and funded by the European Union, but it's illegal.

Welcome to Europe's shame.

Share the truth on the Samos hotspot and show the world what people here have to endure everyday:


- 4400 people live trapped in a space built for 650.

- 1500 of these are children.

- 300 of these are unaccompanied minors.

They should be the most protected population in the camp. But often 30 of them live in containers designed for 8, sometimes without doors or windows or electricity or running water. Some even live in tents.

- 1500 children are denied the right to education as local schools rejected them (only about 5% of the camp children were accepted this year).

- 1500 children are denied the right to nutrition: the line to receive a meal lasts up to 4 hours and many children go to sleep with empty stomachs. The quality of the food is also inadequate for their development.

- 1500 children are denied the right to shelter as dozens of families are forced to live in the forest surrounding the camp.


- Toilets are broken and waste leaks into the tents.

- There is 1 shower every 200 people.

- The waste disposal system is insufficient and parasites and infections are common.

- There are 2 doctors for 4400 people.

- Authorities separate families.

- The police arrests and hits minors, sometimes forcing them to sign documents they cannot understand to be released.

Thousands of human beings are forced to live in a place that has been medically proven to worsen existing psychological conditions, while creating new trauma (Doctors Without Borders).

- Greece has received over 1.5 billion euros specifically to manage the refugee crisis. Where is the money?

Our voice is powerful and our role is to stand by children and fight for their rights. We will denounce the perpetrators with our heads held high. We fear no corrupt authority. Time is up for those who perpetuated abuse with impunity for all this time. Time is up.