Monday, 22 November 2021 11:50

BRIEFING PAPER : Detention as the Default

Detention as the Default: How Greece, with the support of the EU, is generalizing administrative detention of migrants.
Α Briefing Paper by Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and OXFAM.

​Read the Briefing Paper here


a set of training materials on access to justice for migrants which were developed as part of the FAIR (Fostering Access to Immigrant’s Rights) PLUS project.


The material should serve as a support and background information for judges and lawyers when taking decisions on or defending the rights of migrants and refugees.


The FAIR PLUS project (Fostering Access to Immigrant’s Rights – Practical training for Lawyers and jUdgeS) was implemented by the ICJ-EI (International Commission of Jurists – European Institutions)  and national partners (Forum for Human Rights in the Czech Republic, Greek Council for Refugees, Immigrant Council of Ireland and Scuola Superiore de Sant’Anna in Italy) in 2018-2021. This project is funded by the European Union’s Justice Programme (2014-2020).

Read the training materials in four languages ( Czech, English, Greek, Italian,) in the following link:

This issue of the Advocacy brief on the rights of Children on the Move in Greece, issued by GCR in collaboration with Save the Children International, presents an overview of the main issues and challenges faced by the refugee and asylum seeking population, focusing on children. Major updates during September and October 2021 include, among others, the deterioration of reception conditions (walling open accommodation facilities, cash assistance paused), residents’ views on the new Closed Controlled Access Center (CCAC) in Samos, information on the annulment application against the Joint Ministerial Decision designating Turkey a “safe third country", Greece’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan and more. As always, updates on the voluntary Relocation scheme and on refugee children’s access to education are presented together with updated statistics on the number of children in camps, RICs, shelters, SILs, Safe Zones etc.
Full text of the report can be found here
Since 2015, over 25,000 vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children, have been relocated from Greece to other EU countries. Greek Council for Refugees alongside 28 organisations calls for the continuation of relocation from Greece.
Read more in the joint NGO briefing paper: "Relocation from Greece: Lessons learned and looking ahead"
Read the joint NGO briefing paper here
Tuesday, 02 November 2021 16:57

Joint NGO Briefing on the situation in Greece

Ahead of the LIBE delegation visit in Greece (2 - 4 November 2021), 29 NGOs have created a Joint NGO Briefing on Greece for MEPs involved in Greek issues.
Read the Joint NGO Briefing here

The current bimonthly issue of the Advocacy brief on the rights of Children on the Move in Greece, issued by GCR in collaboration with Save the Children International, covers major updates on the situation of refugee and asylum seeking children in Greece during July and August 2021. Updates on relocation are presented as well as the recent judgement of the European Committee on Social Rights regarding children on the move in Greece. Also, a general overview of the current international protection context in Greece is outlined, especially regarding the designation of Turkey as a Safe Third Country and the response to developments in Afghanistan.

The full text of this report can be found here

Under the cooperation of Greek Council for Refugees with Save the Children International a thematic report on Refugee Education in Greece titled “Back to School? Refugee children in Greece denied right to education” is published, highlighting the chronic obstacles that children on the move face in the country in order to have access to (quality) education. These obstacles, as was also demonstrated during the Roundtable organized by GCR and other NGOs in April 2021 and is pointed out in this report, became more evident for refugee and asylum-seeking children due to Covid-19 related restrictions, as, among others, distance learning was not an option for children with no access to the internet and necessary technical equipment.  

Thursday, 09 September 2021 12:04

GCR & Oxfam Bulletin_ September 2021

A broken asylum system: one unwilling and unable to welcome Afghan refugees

While European leaders express their concern for the safety of people in Afghanistan, little concern is given to those Afghans seeking safety in Europe. A new Greek ministerial decision to stop Afghans, amongst other nationalities, from entering Europe, and dire living conditions in “Moria 2” highlights this lack of concern, as criticised in the latest edition of the Lesbos bulletin by the Greek Council for Refugees and Oxfam. 

In the Mavrovouni site on Lesbos, known as “Moria 2”, Afghans make up 63% of the population. In June, the Greek government decided that Afghans, along with Syrians, Somalians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis, could be returned to Turkey even if they are refugees. On 16 August, the day following the fall of Kabul, the Greek Migration Minister, Notis Mitarachi, said that “Greece may not become a gate of entrance” for Afghans. This contradicts existing obligations to welcome those seeking safety. 

Vasilis Papastergiou, Legal expert at Greek Council for Refugees said: 

PRAB Report regarding pushbacks at Europe's borders- April-June 2021:

"Doors Wide Shut: Rights violations at borders re-confirmed, while the door for justice and the path to accountability remain closed".

The PRAB initiative continued collecting reports on pushbacks, including chain pushbacks, from EU Member States (MS) and neighbouring countries between April and June 2021. The testimonies collected speak of wide presence of rights violations accompanying pushbacks, experienced by asylum seekers and migrants irrespective of their age, gender or vulnerability. Vulnerability assessments still remain sorely lacking at borders, and so do effective monitoring mechanisms of border practices. The lack of effective investigations of complaints related to pushbacks continues affecting asylum seekers’ rights to an effective remedy and states’ path to accountability.

Italy (Associazione per gli Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI)Diaconia Valdese (DV) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC) Italy); Hungary (Hungarian Helsinki Committee); Bosnia and Herzegovina (DRC BiH); Serbia (Humanitarian Center for Integration and Tolerance (HCIT)); North Macedonia (Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA)); Greece (Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and DRC Greece); and Brussels (DRC Brussels). 

Read the Report here

The second bimonthly issue of our Advocacy Update on the rights of Children on the Move in Greece, covering May - June 2021. In this issue -that GCR prepared in collaboration with Save the Children International- some major updates on the situation of children both in mainland and on the islands are presented, together with updates on relocation, as well as a general overview of the current international protection context in Greece, especially regarding the designation of Turkey as a Safe Third Country, even for unaccompanied children. 

The full text of this report can be found here

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