Protection & Case Management

Trigger Warning
This page contains information about sexual assault and rape, which may be triggering.

Whilst the Greek government vocally praises itself for the increased levels of safety inside the new camp, NGOs on the ground continue to report increased levels of violence, especially against women. Women represent 23% of the camp population, and are too scared to go to toilets at night due to lack of proper lighting and adequate safety measures. Organizations on the ground report that at least three women have been sexually abused in the camp in March 2021.

There are still no safe areas for the most vulnerable and people living in dignified accommodation alternatives in Lesvos have been forcefully evicted by the government and transferred to the horrifying conditions of the Mavrovouni camp. Chronic patients and people with disabilities live in this camp, including those with severe mobility issues, HIV, and Hepatitis B, for which there is no proper care on the island. Without individualized protection support, many of these cases fall through the cracks. According to a survey conducted in November 2020, 15% of women in the camp are survivors of gender-based violence and 78% have no access to mental health support or protection services.1

1Intersos, ‘Needs Analysis Report’, Lesvos (September 2020).

Participatory protection plans made for and with each client

Our Protection and Case Management Team consists of a diverse group of experts including social workers, social anthropologists, gender and child protection experts, and medical and mental health professionals. We develop an individualized and participatory protection plan for and with the client to ensure their basic rights are respected. Our services may include:

  • Identification and support of non-legal needs. Many vulnerabilities go unidentified within camp settings, so our work involves correcting this, as well as arranging targeted distribution of necessary items, and liaising with other organizations for specialized support.
  • Referrals to adequate housing from other organizations and financial support for emergency housing in urgent cases.
  • Ensuring that our clients are able to access healthcare through medical NGOs, public institutions or private professionals, when services are not publicly available. Once the access is ensured, the protection team follows up on the medical condition of our clients and provides financial support if necessary for treatment or medication. We also ensure transport and translation services during appointments attended by our clients.
  • Referrals of vulnerable cases to the authorities for medical reassessments and for lifting of the geographical restriction to Lesvos for transfers to the mainland;
  • Drafting a psychosocial plan of action with activities such as art, sports, languages and IT classes and professional skills workshops.
  • Information sessions on first steps on integration after a positive asylum decision, including applying to the tax number, residence permit and travel documents, as well as to the national integration program for language classes and housing.
  • Monitoring of the general protection situation in the camp to inform the legal team for strategic and advocacy efforts.