Greece + 5 more

Greece: Bimonthly bulletin on refugees and migrants (July 2022)

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Author: Oxfam, Greek Council for Refugees, Save the Children

This joint report with Save the Children and the Greek Council for Refugees sheds light on the situation for migrants in Greece. The report reveals hampered access to asylum that deprives people seeking safety in Greece of their human rights. It collects testimonies from migrants themselves and recommendations to the EU, EU countries and the Greek government.

AT A GLANCE

  • Between 15 March and 17 June 2022, the European Court of Human Rights granted 14 interim measures in a series of cases of newcomers in the Evros region, ordering the Greek authorities to rescue them and provide them with food, water and adequate medical care. However, the decisions of the Court were respected in only three of the cases, all others were pushed back to Turkey.

  • The Executive Director of Frontex resigned following a report of the European Anti-Fraud Office as well as numerous reports on the complicity of Frontex in pushback operations.

  • The European Parliament’s LIBE Committee in its letter from 16 June called for legal actions against Greece following continuous reports of pushbacks at the Greek borders and allegations of European and international law violations by the Greek authorities.

  • Criminalization of refugees and those who support them continues as part of a broader policy of deterrence. Recent acquittals by the courts of Samos, Chios and Kalamata demonstrate the unlawful criminalization and the unjustified consequences of the concomitant pre-trial detention and restrictive measures on refugees’ personal and family life, as well as their access to asylum.

  • A series of media reports suggested that the government plans to target civil society organizations that provide assistance to newly arrived persons at the Evros region, raising questions as to whether this could be part of a policy of intimidation of people defending the rights of those seeking asylum.

  • Hampered access to the asylum procedure continues depriving refugees of their rights and exposing them to the risks of arrest and administrative detention.

  • Refugees hosted in the new EU-funded €43 million Closed Controlled Center of Samos were without access to sufficient water for two weeks due to a technical problem.

  • 45,525 refugees from Ukraine, of which 11,436 are children, have arrived in Greece since the escalation of the conflict in February.

  • The closure of ESTIA by the end of December 2022 and the subsequent transfer of vulnerable people to camps leaves them exposed to inadequate and unsafe accommodation.

  • The UN Child Rights Committee’s (CRC) Concluding Observations on Greece raise serious concerns, including forced returns / pushbacks and the discriminatory “two-tier refugee response” for Ukrainian refugees and for all others.