Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) is a registered non-profit organisation working on the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in Greece. It was established in 2017 after its members felt that there was an increasing and imperative need to provide legal and social assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers on the islands and mainland after the large-scale refugee arrivals in 2015 and the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016.
It staff comprises of lawyers, social workers/scientists, researchers, media workers, and interpreters with extensive and lengthy experience on refugee protection in Greece.
RSA focuses on legal assistance and strategic litigation in support of refugees and asylum-seekers before national and international courts on issues such as: halting returns of refugees to Turkey under the “deal”; reuniting refugee families torn apart in Europe; transfers of unaccompanied children from protective custody to safe accommodation; transfers of vulnerable groups from camps where they lived in degrading conditions to dignified shelter; halting the returns of recognized refugees and asylum-seekers from other EU Member States to Greece.
RSA staff also documents human rights violations on the Eastern Aegean islands’ hotspots and on the mainland that are the result of repressive migration policies by Greece, the EU and other Member States. In the past, they have been involved in cases that have helped influence asylum and migration policy, as well as rectifying serious injustices against the most vulnerable.
The organisation has also been involved in joint campaigns with PRO ASYL Foundation to end the toxic EU-Turkey “deal” and consistent advocacy on issues such as improving legislative reforms at national and EU level to safeguard the right to asylum.
Staff of the organisation is based on the Eastern Aegean islands and on the mainland and visit different parts of Greece in order to document the situation in relation to the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in hotspots and camps.
- To pursue the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers and their rights with a focus on vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied minors, single mothers and victims of torture and other forms of abuse.
- To provide legal, social, and humanitarian assistance in individual cases, and particularly to vulnerable refugees, asylum-seekers, including victims of human rights violations and victims of shipwrecks.
- To promote and defend the right to a fair asylum procedure, and in general individual rights, the prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the principle of non-refoulement.
- To develop actions in order to inform and raise public awareness in the fight against racism and xenophobia and at the same time promote non-violence and human rights protection.