Push-backs and collective expulsions

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.

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