Border deaths

Over 1,600 persons seeking safety have died or gone missing in their attempt to cross the Eastern Mediterranean since the beginning of the refugee crisis in 2015. Several others including small children and unaccompanied children died in the unsafe and overcrowded hotspots of the Eastern Aegean islands since the beginning of the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal. The causes of death vary from lack of winterization measures to fires that broke out in their dwellings as well as violence due to lack of protection.

In all these cases, those remaining behind, the close family and other relatives face an enormous challenge, in registering their deaths, organising their funerals and seeking justice.

RSA closely monitors shipwreck incidents on both sides of the Aegean. It also assists families of those who died in the Aegean or in hotspots in their efforts to identify their lost family members, register the death of their loved ones and in seeking justice in cases where there is a possible responsibility of the Greek State.

In the past year, RSA has also co-operated with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in a project that documents deaths at the land and sea borders of Greece with Turkey.

11 Jul: Key points from the Press Conference regarding Farmakonisi Shipwreck

Athens, 11/7/2022 Moderation: Dimitris Angelidis, Journalist Giorgos Tsarbopoulos, former Greece Representative, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees I want to…

07 Jul: Justice for the shipwrecked in Farmakonisi – Invitation to Press Conference​

Today’s judgment from the ECtHR comes eight years following the tragic incident. It vindicates the victims by awarding compensation from the Greek State and brings to light an issue systematically concealed in public discourse: push backs and systematic deterrence practices which put lives at risk on a daily basis in Evros and the Aegean.

24 Feb: Deaths at the borders. Urgent need to use appropriate protocols in refugee and migrant shipwrecks

Almost two months after the deadly shipwrecks in Paros, Folegandros and Antikythera, the bodies of missing refugees and migrants are still found scattered all over the Aegean. The survivors – relatives and companions of these people who were anxiously searching for clues about their fate, instead of receiving the necessary psychosocial care under decent accommodation conditions, were taken to the Pre-removal Detention Centre (PROKEKA) in Amygdaleza where they remained in administrative detention for more than a month. The recent shipwrecks have once again highlighted the huge shortcomings in the information, support and care of survivors, in the coordination for the management of shipwreck victims such as the protocol for the search and identification of the missing and dead respectively and the referral to an appropriate accommodation facility.


On 9 August, the Aegean became once more a graveyard for seven refugee children after a boat carrying around 13…


PRO-ASYL and Refugee Support Aegean wish to express once more their profound concerns over the loss of sixteen lives following the capsizing of…

26 Jun: #AgathonisiShipwreck: The case file

On 16 March 2018, a refugee boat sank near the Greek island of Agathonisi. Sixteen persons perished including seven children…

20 Jun: Syrian acquitted for deaths of refugees in Farmakonisi case

The Felony Appeal Court of Dodecanese in Rhodes decided yesterday that the young Syrian – sentenced initially to 25 years…