GreeceWeek-Long Study Tour | Justice & Human Rights Program

One of the epicenters of the global displacement crisis over the last decade has been the eastern Aegean where the borders of Europe are marked by the short sea passage between Turkey and the Greek islands of Lesvos, Chios, and Samos.

This tour will provide an opportunity to experience first-hand not only these highly politicized and legally charged geographies, and to engage with the migrants and refugees who are compelled to negotiate passage through them, but also to learn from the assortment of actors that cluster together on these small islands; the local refugee support groups, international organizations and NGOs, Greek border authorities, and the EU FRONTEX agency, whose daily practice both constructs and contests the contemporary EU border regime.

Tour Objectives

  • Map the longer refugee journeys that culminate in irregular arrival by sea and interrogate the broader social, political, economic, and climate factors that precipitate and structure those journeys
  • Explain, analyze, and discuss contemporary European refugee policy concerning the irregular arrival of refugees by sea within the context of the international legal framework for the protection of refugees
  • Reflect on the role played by local refugee support groups, international organizations, and NGOs in constructing and contesting the contemporary European border regime

Possible Activities

  • Visit the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum
  • Meet the Hellenic Coast Guard on Lesvos
  • Learn about the work of organizations working out of the region, for example Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Amnesty International, and the International Rescue Committee