Report on Immigration Detention on Kos - 2024 Update


Equal Rights Beyond Borders is publishing its third in-depth report on the use and conditions of immigration detention on Kos. For three years of being based with our legal office on the Agean island of Kos close to the Turkish border, we have gained extensive insight into the immigration detention practices on this island and in the EU in general.
Closed/Controlled Access Centre Kos - Anonymous - 2023
Closed/Controlled Access Centre Kos - Anonymous - 2023. Unsere Visual Policy

Since opening our Kos office in January 2021, Equal Rights Beyond Borders has published two in-depth reports on the use of immigration detention on Kos, which is home to the only Pre-Removal Detention Centre (PRDC) on the Eastern Aegean Islands.

Today, we published our third report, providing a comprehensive update on changes to the legal framework surrounding detention, detention practices and policies, living conditions, and the development of detention practices outside the PRDC in 2023. To inform our findings, Equal Rights Beyond Borders carried out 13 interviews with detained migrants from January to December 2023 and analyzed more than a dozen case files.

Although the number of people detained in the PRDC has decreased significantly since we published our first report, this report concludes that migrants detained on Kos are still subject to dire conditions and substandard legal safeguards. The authorities also continue to automatically detain certain groups of rejected asylum seekers, although there is no reasonable prospect of return to Türkiye. These factors combined with the carceral environment in detention lead to alarming mental health concerns and an overall deplorable situation for asylum seekers that violate their fundamental rights. 

As we have documented for three years, detention practices on Kos continue to violate the fundamental rights of migrants and particularly their right to liberty. Moreover, while the number of individuals detained in the PRDC has decreased, the approach to detention in the Kos PRDC has always been a microcosm of the approach to detention in the Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC), the other Aegean Islands, and the EU at large. Towards the end of this reporting period, a sharp increase of asylum seekers began arriving to the shores of Kos, and although the numbers of individuals detained in the PRDC remained low, asylum seekers in various stages of the asylum procedure were subjected to detention practices in the CCAC, particularly new arrivals who often faced de facto detention while waiting to be registered.  

With detentions practices spreading into the CCAC, and with new CCACs opening on other Aegean Islands, Equal Rights again raises serious concerns on whether Greece—and the European Union at large—are prepared and willing to meet the fundamental needs of asylum seekers arriving to the shores of the European Union.

“This [the PRDC] is not a suitable place for a human being to live, and we cannot talk about that to the police or do anything. Only the circumstances have forced us to stay here.” — Soloman, an asylum seeker detained in the Kos PRDC.

Read the full report here

Relevantes Material
  • ‘Still detained and forgotten’
    Update zu Politiken, Praktiken und Bedingungen der Inhaftierung auf Kos 2023/24

    Dieser Bericht ist der dritte in unserer Reihe von Gutachten, die eine jährliche Aktualisierung der Haftpolitik, -praktiken und -bedingungen im Abschiebungshaftzentrum (Pre-Removal Detention Centre - PRDC) auf der ostägäischen Insel Kos liefern.