“A two-tier refugee response”: Greece’s welcome of people fleeing Ukraine stands in stark contrast with others seeking safety

04/05/2022

The Greek government is operating “a two-tier refugee response” - one for Ukrainians and one for all other refugees according to a new briefing by the Greek Council for Refugees, Oxfam and Save the Children.

The briefing details how, in the last two months, people fleeing Ukraine who are seeking protection in Greece were given swift access to protection, health care and the labour market. The Greek government has also started providing accommodation and support to buy food, the organisations said.

In the same period, there were multiple incidents of violent “pushbacks” of asylum seekers from elsewhere - including cases of children and pregnant women who were detained and transferred by boat to islets in a river at the border. In mid-March, asylum seekers reported that a 4-year-old Syrian child tragically drowned after falling from a boat in one of these operations.

The Greek government has also set up an easy-to-use online registration process for Ukrainians seeking protection. In contrast, the registration of asylum applications in mainland Greece is almost completely dysfunctional and inaccessible for other nationalities, and Ukrainians who had arrived in Greece prior to 26 November, the report says.

The report details other instances of discrimination and differential treatment, with Ukrainians called “real refugees” and other people seeking protection labelled “illegal immigrants” by government officials. There were also reports that Afghan refugees in camps in Serres Camp in northern Greece are being forced to leave the containers in which they have been staying and move to a dilapidated part of the camp, to make space for newly arrived Ukrainians.

The research in Greece was conducted by the Greek Council for Refugees, supported by Save the Children and Oxfam. The findings and recommendations in Greece could be relevant to other European countries that are hosting people who have fled Ukraine as well as refugees from other countries.

The European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) grants interim measures for 5th group of Syrian refugees stranded on an islet in the Evros river

30/04/2022

Over the past three weeks, the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) has represented the Syrian refugees, including 44 children, before the ECtHR, by filing 5 applications for interim measures (R 39), requesting for the Syrian refugees to be granted humanitarian assistance and access to the asylum procedure.

The Court granted the requested interim measures for all cases and ordered the Greek government not to remove the refugees from the country’s territory and to provide them with food, water and proper medical care. The ECtHR also requested to be informed by the Greek government, amongst others, on whether the Syrian refugees have submitted an asylum application and whether they have access to the asylum procedure and to legal assistance.

Two of these five groups of refugees have been collected by the Greek authorities, two other groups of Syrian refugees complain they have been pushed back to Turkey. The last group has been on the islet since the day before yesterday and comprises of refugees who were previously pushed back to Turkey while their request for interim measures was pending before the ECtHR, alongside a new group of 12 Syrian refugees who were granted interim measures yesterday.

The European Court for Human Rights (ECtHR) grants interim measures for 2 groups of Syrian refugees on islets in Evros river

20/04/2022

The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) represented the Syrian refugees before the ECtHR, requesting humanitarian assistance and access to the asylum procedure. The ECtHR last night granted the interim measures (R 39) and ordered the Greek government not to remove the refugees from the country and to provide them with food, water and proper medical care. The ECtHR also requests information from the Greek government, including whether the Syrian refugees have submitted an asylum application and whether they have access to the asylum procedure and to legal assistance.

 

The Syrian refugees, among them 26 young children, patients and a pregnant woman, were stranded for several days on two islets in Evros, without access to water, food, medical assistance, exposed to the cold and weather conditions.

Our Efficiency

90% Program services
10% Management

ISO Certification

Certified with ISO 9001: 2015
No. 20001210004322
by TUV Austria

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

 

Follow us

Copyright: © Greek Council for Refugees 2017-2022