Human Rights Defenders

In light of the refugee crisis of 2015, established non-governmental organisations and groups and many civil society actors, from Greece and abroad, stepped in to provide humanitarian assistance and other needed support, including rescue at sea.

However, especially on the islands the climate towards NGOs and volunteers helping refugees has started turning progressively from welcoming to hostile due to the chronic extreme pressure imposed on the local societies after the EU-Turkey “deal” and the establishment of the hotspots.

In March 2020, the Greek Government proceeded with adopting new rules on the registration and certification of Greek and foreign NGOs active in the area of asylum, migration and social inclusion as well as their members staff and volunteers. These regulations include stringent, disproportionate and arbitrary requirements for registration and certification, which create risks of violations of the rights of civil society. The changes come against the backdrop of policy efforts appearing to create an increasingly hostile environment for civil society in Greece.

26 Oct: Refugee residence permit renewal applications pending for over a year at the Greek Asylum Service

Refugees receiving protection in Greece and those returned thereto from other European countries continue to face prolonged delays in the renewal of their residence permits.

13 Oct: European countries carry on with deportations of recognised refugees to Greece – returns in figures

Nearly 100 recognised refugees have been deported to Greece in the first half of 2022

06 Oct: Deported to destitution

Refugee women remain undocumented four months after return from Sweden to Greece

14 Jul: The new “Cartoneros” of Athens

Mini documentary, briefing, stories of four families of recognised refugees in Greece and photos about The Cartoneros of Athens

31 Mar: Beneficiaries of international protection in Greece | Report

The updated report on the situation of beneficiaries of international protection in Greece, published today by RSA and Stiftung PRO ASYL, highlights chronic legal and practical barriers excluding them from the basic documents and socio-economic rights needed to rebuild their lives.

04 Mar: Recognised refugee returned to Greece, destitute, forgotten and undocumented

Farhad*, a 31-year-old recognised refugee, was returned from Germany to Greece at the beginning of July 2021 after spending more than five years in Germany waiting for his asylum claim to be processed.

23 Dec: Refugees in Greece experience third month of humanitarian crisis and hunger

Despite constant appeals from humanitarian organisations and dozens of media reports regarding the economic impasse faced by thousands of refugees and asylum seekers in Greece in recent months, the problem has not been solved.

14 May: Donate your old laptop to a child refugee

We are collecting old laptops, of the past 8 years, and to distribute them to refugee children, thus enabling them to attend educational classes remotely

13 Apr: Excluded and Segregated | The vanishing education of refugee children in Greece

Excluded and Segregated The vanishing education of refugee children in Greece​ Excluded and Segregated The vanishing education of refugee children…

13 Apr: Executive summary: Excluded and Segregated. The vanishing education of refugee children in Greece

In a report titled “Excluded and Segregated. The vanishing education of refugee children in Greece”, Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) tracks…

30 Mar: Greek family law reform puts victims of domestic violence at high risk

The Ministry failed to pay due regard to vulnerable categories of children that will be affected by the provisions such as asylum seekers and refugees

22 Mar: Beneficiaries of international protection in Greece | Access to documents and socio-economic rights

This Legal Note provides up-to-date information on the situation of beneficiaries of international protection in Greece, including readmitted status holders from other European countries, drawing on a third party intervention submitted on 24 February 2021 by Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) and Stiftung PRO ASYL in the case of Alaa Asaad v. the Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

21 Jan: Open letter to Mr Notis Mitarakis Minister of Migration and Asylum

Athens, 21 January 2020 Dear Minister, With this letter, the below signatory humanitarian, human rights and protection organizations would like…

09 Jan: Returned recognized refugees face a dead-end in Greece


26 Jun: Legal Note: Rights and effective protection exist only on paper

Photo:  RSA/giorgos moutafis The current living conditions of beneficiaries of international protection in Greece are alarming, as beneficiaries do not only…