Source description last updated: 8 July 2021

In brief: Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) is a Greek non-profit organization established in 2017 with its headquarters on the island of Chios, working on the rights and protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Greece.

Coverage on

Reports and Briefings on reception conditions of third-country citizens and asylum procedures.

Covered monthly on, for countries of priority D.


“Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) is a registered non-profit organisation working on the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers in Greece. […]

RSA focuses on legal assistance and strategic litigation in support of refugees and asylum-seekers before national and international courts” (RSA website: What is RSA: Mission, undated) and on documenting “human rights violations on the Eastern Aegean islands’ hotspots and on the mainland” (RSA website: What is RSA: Mission, undated). Issues of strategic litigation include halting the returns of refugees to Turkey or from other EU Member States to Greece, reuniting families and the transfer of unaccompanied children and vulnerable groups to safe accommodation or shelter (RSA website: What is RSA, Mission, undated).

RSA’s main aims are:

  • “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.” (RSA website: What is RSA: Mission: Aims, undated)


RSA accepts donations.

According to the PRO ASYL website, RSA “is part of the ‘Refugee Support Program Aegean’, which supports the work for refugees in Greece and Turkey. RSPA is supported by Brot für die Welt and the Swiss Refugee Council”. (PRO ASYL website: Flüchtlinge in Griechenland, undated)

Scope of reporting:

Geographical focus: Greece

Thematic focus: Detention and reception conditions; EU-Turkey statement; Human Rights Defenders; integration and social rights; quality of the asylum procedure; racist violence; the Dublin system; unaccompanied and separated children; violations at the borders (RSA website: Topics, undated)


RSA’s team includes “lawyers, social workers/scientists, researchers, media workers, and interpreters with extensive and lengthy experience on refugee protection in Greece”. (RSA website: What is RSA: Mission, undated)

“RSA counts 14 staff members, including 8 lawyers, active on Chios, Lesvos and Athens. The organisational structure of the organisation [….] comprises of the following teams: Legal Support, Research & Advocacy, Communications, Finance & Administration.” (RSA Annual Report 2020, undated, p. 18)

“RSA is an implementing partner of the PRO ASYL Foundation. […]

RSA co-operates with various experts, organisations and coalitions of national NGOs and INGOs working in the field of refugee protection such as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Campaign for Access to Asylum and is an active member of the Racist Violence Recording Network in Greece. As regards with the victims of shipwrecks and returns to Turkey, RSA co-operates with Mülteci-der in Izmir, Turkey.

RSA is also in close contact with the refugee communities and solidarity groups in Greece.” (RSA website: What is RSA: Co-operations and network, undated)

Briefings discuss issues such as reception and living conditions in refugee camps or the EU-Turkey deal and are based on publicly available documents, interviews and case studies (see, for example, RSA: New Malakasa: Inhuman subsistence, nine months on, 17 December 2020 and RSA: Reception crisis in Greece: The malignancy of Attica’s refugee camps, 13 August 2018).

Reports provide in-depth analysis of issues such as education of refugee children or the Greek reception system. Reports are based on publicly available documents, protocols of the Parliament’s plenary meetings and interviews with professionals and affected families and individuals. See, for example, RSA: Excluded and segregated: The vanishing education of refugee children in Greece, Introduction, 2nd paragraph, 13 April 2021 and RSA: Structural failure: Why Greece's reception system failed to provide sustainable solutions, June 2019, p. 2.

Language(s) of publications:

Greek and English

Further reading / links:

European Commission Initiative: Asylum and migration – screening non-EU nationals at EU’s external borders. Feedback from: Refugee Support Aegean (RSA)


All links accessed 8 July 2021.

Methodological note:'s source descriptions contain background information on an organisation’s mission & objective, funding and reporting methodology, as well as on how we cover the source. The descriptions were prepared after researching publicly accessible information within time constraints. Most information contained in a source description was taken from the source itself. The aim is to provide a brief introduction to the sources covered regularly, offering information on relevant aspects in one place in a systematic manner.