The latest European Commission report on Türkiye counters Greece’s designation of Türkiye as a “safe third country” for refugees, enacted through a national list of safe third countries based on which more than 7,000 asylum claims from nationals of Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh have been dismissed as inadmissible.

The European Commission makes detailed reference to obstacles facing refugees’ access to international protection, to breaches of the principle of non-refoulement and to human rights violations in detention, as well as to broader rule of law backsliding in Türkiye.

This is the third issue of the Bimonthly Bulletin on Refugees and Migrants which is based on the joint work of the Greek Council for Refugees with Oxfam International and Save the Children International.

Παρακολουθούμε με ιδιαίτερη ανησυχία τις εξελίξεις στην πρόσφατη υπόθεση βιασμού και σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης ανήλικου, γνωρίζοντας ότι οι χειρισμοί που έχουν γίνει από όλους τους εμπλεκόμενους λειτουργούν στο παιδί δευτερογενώς κακοποιητικά, προδίδοντας την εμπιστοσύνη που επιδεικνύει το παιδί στην Πολιτεία και τον κόσμο των ενηλίκων που οφείλουν να το προστατέψουν. 

Μπορείτε να δείτε την δήλωση που συνυπογράφει το ΕΣΠ μαζί με άλλες οργανώσεις εδώ

Το Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες, στο πλαίσιο της υποστήριξης των 38 προσφύγων, που κατήγγειλαν αρχικά επαναπροώθηση από τις ελληνικές αρχές στην Τουρκία, και στη συνέχεια περισυνελέγησαν στον Έβρο στις 15-8-2022, και σε συνέχεια προηγούμενων ανακοινώσεών του για το ζήτημα αυτό[1], επιθυμεί να επαναλάβει ότι η αποστολή του και ο ρόλος του είναι να συνδράμει και να εκπροσωπεί ανθρώπους σε κίνδυνο, οι οποίοι αναζητούν ασφάλεια και άσυλο στην Ελλάδα.

Στο πλαίσιο αυτό συνέδραμε τους συγκεκριμένους πρόσφυγες ήδη από τις 20-7-2022, με απεύθυνση, κατ' αρχάς, στις αρμόδιες ελληνικές αρχές και στη συνέχεια με αιτήματα ασφαλιστικών μέτρων προς το Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο των Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου (αποφάσεις K.A. και B.S.)[2], ενώ στις 30/9/2022 προχώρησε, εντός της δοθείσας προθεσμίας, στην κατάθεση προσφυγής στο Ευρωπαϊκό Δικαστήριο Δικαιωμάτων του Ανθρώπου (ΕΔΔΑ) εναντίον τόσο των Τουρκικών όσο και των Ελληνικών αρχών για παραλείψεις και ενέργειές τους που έθεσαν σε κίνδυνο ή ακόμη και μπορεί να στέρησαν ανθρώπινες ζωές.

Η σχετική δε ευθύνη και των Ελληνικών αρχών προκύπτει και από το πρόσφατα δημοσιευθέν έγγραφο του Υπουργείου Εθνικής Άμυνας[3], σύμφωνα με το οποίο η συγκεκριμένη νησίδα τέμνεται από την Ελληνοτουρκική συνοριακή γραμμή, «δημιουργώντας το ελληνικό και τουρκικό τμήμα αυτής». 

Thursday, 06 October 2022 16:07



Athens, 5 October 2022

The way in which the Ministry of Migration handled last month’s case concerning the Syrian people who were left stranded for days in Evros, while sparking a general public outcry, cannot but cause concern and call for reflection. The refugees report, among other things, that they were left helpless on the islet for many days, where a child died of a scorpion sting, and that during their stay on the islet, they were pushed back to Turkiye on at least one occasion.

The Ministry continues to deny the refugees’ allegations and denies responsibility for the case, failing to internationalise the issue (if – as it claims – the islet is not Greek), obscuring the facts and preventing an impartial and thorough investigation.  The recent incident in Evros is revealing – and of course it is not the only one – of the fact that the Greek authorities' policy of puahbacksis a standard practice with fatal consequences for the lives, physical integrity and freedom of refugees.


In the last weeks, a series of tragic incidents in the Eastern Mediterranean shed light on lesser-known migratory routes. In the most recent case, following a shipwreck off Syria of a boat that had departed from Lebanon heading to Italy, at least 94 people died.

In another recent case, 250 people who had departed from Lebanon for Italy were left at sea for about a week without food and water before being rescued by an NGO. In another incident, a four-year-old girl named Loujin died of thirst on board of a vessel with 60 people who had departed from Lebanon to reach Italy and was left at sea for 10 days, and were rescued by a merchant vessel. Finally, six people, including three children and one mother, died while attempting to reach Italy from Turkey. On 20 September 2022, Alarm Phone reported about 53 people in distress in the Greek SAR zone, including 5 children, who had departed from Lebanon and had been at sea for 4 days. They were eventually pushed back to Turkey.

These incidents take place as people are forced to embark on increasingly dangerous migration journeys due to the systemic violence, pushbacks and dangers encountered on other routes and the lack of legal channels for migration. Greece is on the frontline of this border violence, with countless evidence of Greek authorities beating, detaining, and abandoning people at sea while clinging to life rafts, while Cyprus has, on multiple occasions, pushed back boats arriving from Lebanon. At the same time, these tragic incidents are a direct result of unlawful and repeated policies of non-assistance at sea by Malta, Greece, Cyprus and Italy.

The Greek Council for Refugees is following with concern the ongoing toxic debate surrounding the issue of the 38 refugees, from which the real stakes have been “forgotten”:  that is to say, the practices that are in violation of the law and are dismantling human rights, the respect of which is non-negotiable.

Recent developments, which have "hurt" Civil Society, oblige GCR to reiterate that its mission and role is to assist and represent people at risk, who seek safety and asylum in Greece.

GCR’s statutory purpose is to support and be an advocate for vulnerable people, refugees, and it will not stop doing so. Their instrumentalisation is unthinkable in a state governed by the rule of law.

We will continue to fulfil our mission conscientiously and with respect for international, EU and national law and with commitment to the humanitarian values they express.

In doing so we will continue to rely on partnerships and collaborations with fellow travellers from across civil society, and we hope that any differentiations or retreats will not hurt this common struggle.

Exactly one year ago, the first EU-funded Closed Controlled Access Centre (CCAC) for asylum seekers in Greece was inaugurated on the island of Samos. Concerns were  from the outset, that residents would be subjected to disproportionate restrictions on their movement and to surveillance measures more associated with prison-type controls than with reception facilities hosting and supporting people seeking international protection. A year later, with two similar CCACs now operational on the Greek islands of Leros and Kos, and another two additional facilities being built on Lesvos and Chios, NGOs who have witnessed the impact are calling for the approach to be urgently revised. 


The combined expected cost of building all five CCACs is 260 million euros. Meanwhile, the average distance from the closest towns is 14 kilometers, with no access to regular, adequate and affordable transport services. These EU funds could be used instead to host people in suitable conditions that respect their dignity, and ensure access to healthcare, employment opportunities and promote people’s ability to become part of the society in Greece.  There is also a real danger that this model will be replicated along the border with Turkey and elsewhere in Europe. It is time to reverse this harmful trend, and instead build functioning Greek and EU asylum systems that recognise the humanity of all who are forced to flee. 

Read the full statement here

As civil society and Afghan diaspora organisations, we are deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the treatment of Afghan asylum seekers and refugees in Europe.


One year after the Taliban takeover, the country is in a state of lawlessness without a constitution. The overall security, economic and human rights situation is deteriorating, and people’s suffering is increasing. Afghanistan’s economy has collapsed, and the country is confronting a dire humanitarian crisis, with 23 million people facing acute hunger. The general level of conflict has dropped compared to before August 2021 since the Taliban was a party to the conflict and has taken power, but the country is far from stable. Targeted killings and systematic attacks against religious and ethnic minorities, particularly against the Hazara community, revenge killings by the Taliban against former government officials and former military forces have significantly increased. Freedom of expression and movement of mainly women and girls has been severely restricted. Other rights are violated by measures taken by the Taliban, such as the ban on secondary school education for girls. Many human rights violations and incidents are going unreported in the absence of a vibrant civil society and due to the fear of Taliban persecution.


Read the full statement

In December 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal for a Regulation addressing situations of instrumentalisation in the field of migration and asylum. The proposal introduces a mechanism which allows Member States to derogate from their responsibilities under EU asylum law in situations of “instrumentalisation” of migration. The mechanism is permanently available to Member States who can invoke it in multiple situations, essentially enabling them to derogate at will from their obligations.

We understand that there is broad support among Member States for the proposed Regulation and that the Czech Presidency aims at adoption of a common position by December. This would make it one of the fastest moving legislative files related to asylum in Council. The proposal allows states to derogate from the proposed Asylum Procedures Regulation of 2016 and amended APR proposal of 2020 (APR), the proposed recast of the Reception Conditions Directive (rRCD) of 2016, and the proposed recast Return Directive (rRD) of 2018. The derogations are substantial and substantive, significantly affecting the rights of people seeking protection.


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