Annulment of a decision of the Appeals Authority which rejected the unaccompanied minor’s asylum application

Athens, 3 January 2018

After a very difficult year for the defense of the fundamental rights of immigrants and refugees, 2017 ended with very good news for minors seeking international protection. The Athens Administrative Court of Appeal upheld an application for annulment brought by the Legal Service of ARSIS against a decision issued by the Appeals Authority, which rejected the application for asylum of an unaccompanied child from Morocco.

In particular, the Court held that the decision issued by the Appeals Authority was vitiated by a lack of specific and detailed reasons, since the applicant’s allegations of abuse and violence he had received as a child in Morocco were not thoroughly examined. The decision was also declared void because the procedural guarantees for asylum-seekers were not complied with and the right to be heard was violated, since no hearing was given to the second degree.

Greece: As Winter Nears, Asylum Seekers Stuck in Tents on Islands

Groups Press Greek Officials, EU States for Mainland Transfers, Improved Conditions

(Athens, November 22, 2017) – The Greek government, with the support of EU member states, should act now to end Greece’s “containment policy,” 20 human rights and aid groups said today. The policy forces asylum seekers arriving on the Greek islands to remain in overcrowded, unsafe facilities, an urgent concern with winter approaching.

Conditions on the Greek islands have continued to deteriorate in the month since 19 nongovernmental groups wrote an open letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, calling on him to move asylum seekers to the mainland, where better conditions and services are available.

ELFO: European Programme for empowering the institutions of foster care and guardianship

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth in collaboration with other non-governmental organizations active in child protection issues from Italy, Spain, Bulgaria and Portugal have started since 1 December 2016 the ELFO program co-funded by the Program “Rights, Equality and Citizenship’ of the European Union (2014-2020).

The general objective of the project is to improve the level and quality of protection of child victims or potential victims of violence by empowering guardians, legal representatives and foster parents of children deprived of parental care within an integrated child protection framework.Empowering of guardians and foster parents could be a key element in preventing violence and ill-treatment of children deprived of parental responsibility.

Joint letter to the Greek Prime Minister Mr. Alexis Tsipras

Athens, October 23, 2017

Dear Prime Minister Tsipras,

We, undersigned human rights and humanitarian non-governmental organisations, are writing to express our deep concern at the deteriorating conditions for thousands of women, men and children, seeking asylum and trapped on the Aegean islands as winter sets in.

We urge you to put an end to the ongoing “containment policy” of trapping asylum seekers on the islands if they arrived after the entry into force of the EU-Turkey Statement of March 18, 2016, and to immediately transfer asylum seekers to the mainland and meet their protection needs, including by providing them with adequate and dignified protection, accommodation and access to services.

We acknowledge the efforts of the Greek Government and the solidarity of the Greek people towards asylum seekers and migrants in the past years. Many of our organisations have repeatedly called on the European Union and its member states to demonstrate genuine collective action and share fairly the responsibility towards asylum seekers and migrants arriving in Greece since 2015 in a way that is humane and respects their human rights. However, the disappointing lack of real solidarity and commitment to responsibility sharing by many EU member states is no justification for the current state of asylum seekers on the Greek islands.