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Human Rights in the Space of No Longer and Not Yet State Actors, NGOs and the Refugee Camp in Samos

Sisto, Elisa

Samos is a Greek island of first arrival for refugees and migrants crossing Turkey in search of safety and a better life in the European Union. While much of the recent media and academic attention has focused on Lesvos, the situation in Samos has been relatively overlooked. Since the EU-Turkey statement of 2016 and the transfer of asylum application processing to the Aegean islands, Samos has gone from a site of transit to a site of extended detention. Today, over 4,000 asylum seekers are living in dire conditions in the Reception and Identification Center of Samos. Although in theory the international human rights regime is state-centric, NGOs have become key actors in upholding asylum seekers’ human rights. Combining the international human rights legal framework and interviews with volunteers from NGOs, this thesis explores the non-governmental infrastructure that has emerged on the island and its relationship to human rights. This research suggests that while NGOs may provisionally bridge certain gaps with regard to the rights to education, an adequate standard of living, and health, they cannot escape the state-centric architecture of human rights, which endows the state as the sole actor able to provide durable solutions.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Rosenthal, Mila H.
Degree
B.A., Columbia University
Published Here
July 24, 2019
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