Security and conflict mitigation in EU migration 'hotspots' in Greece

Masterclass with Jason Phillips: Detained populations in Greece & Libya
Long established and newer aid groups operating in a non-conflict context in Europe, such as the Greek islands, have underestimated insecurity. The presence of asylum seekers and its effects on local host communities, has resulted in clashes and threats among asylum seekers and the host community, and aid workers and volunteers have become targets of hostilities.

In many other refugee situations, security is much more embedded in the perception and in operational and coordination frameworks of aid organizations. In Greece, these are lacking or have not been considered relevant. Escalations in the beginning of 2020 and after the fire on Lesbos that destroyed Moria, make clear that the particularities of the Greek Hotspots call for a more nuanced understanding of risks and threats for aid actors.

Improve security awareness

With this project, researchers from Wageningen University and KUNO explored how local and international actors experience and mitigate insecurity and risk between asylum seekers, host communities and aid actors on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos. In a special session we present our findings to concerned stakeholders, and lay out suggestions for improving risk awareness and ways to mitigate escalation.

Our findings can be divided in an elaboration of the politico-humanitarian context of the Hotspot islands, which leads to a variety of threats specific to this environment. Based on this we propose ways forward to improve security awareness. We invite humanitarian actors to comment on these findings and recommendations in an interactive session moderated by KUNO. Shortly before the session, the (short) report will be shared with the attendants.


  • Bram Jansen, assistant professor WUR
  • Sebastian Weishaupt, researcher WUR
  • Marleen Lubberdink, researcher WUR

This session will be moderated by Peter Heintze (KUNO).

Full report: Security & Conflict Mitigation.

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