The dismantling of the Greek asylum system
This note summarises and analyses key statistics on the functioning of the Greek asylum procedure during the first half of 2021, based on figures provided by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum in response to parliamentary questions.
The Deportations and Returns Bill tabled by the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum to Parliament on 25 August 2021 fully disregards the positions and concerns put forward by civil society and the National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) regarding compliance with international and EU law on asylum and migration. Without any justification, the drafters of the bill omit over 60 comments tabled by experts in the public consultation, thereby circumventing a necessary institution to safeguard the rule of law and better law-making.
While the Greek government is sending contradictory messages about dealing with the humanitarian crisis caused by the return of the Taliban to power, thousands of Afghan refugees living in Greece are anxious for the fate of their relatives and themselves, as based on the Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) issued in June they may be returned to Turkey as a safe third country with a risk of onward deportation to Afghanistan.
Official data demonstrate that the Greek authorities continue to systematically detain asylum seekers and irregular migrants. The figures reveal a severe violation of the duty of the state to use deprivation of liberty only as a last resort, when necessity and proportionality so require.
WE ARE DEEPLY THANKFUL – Update on the collection of computers for refugee children
Online press conference
This paper summarises comments from legal organisations Refugee Support Aegean (RSA), the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR), HIAS Greece and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) on the bill amending migration and asylum legislation, submitted to public consultation by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum one year after the last migration reform. The organisations offer a detailed analysis of key provisions of the bill and of their impact on refugees and asylum seekers, as well as recommendations to achieve the necessary harmonisation of Greek legislation with EU law.
Greece is intensifying its detention policy under the hypocritical and tolerating gaze of the EU. More specifically, on Kos and – during the operation of the pre-removal centre – in Evros the authorities apply a policy of generalised and systematic detention of newly arrived asylum seekers subject to a few exceptions, whereas even vulnerable people are detained for prolonged periods.