Greece: The End of the Road for Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants

The remains of a rubber boat used by migrants to cross the Aegean Sea to the Greek island of Lesbos. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)
Report
December 20, 2012

Greece: The End of the Road for Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and Migrants

Every year, tens of thousands of irregular migrants and asylum-seekers cross the Greek border in search of shelter, refuge or just a better life within the European Union. Few of them find it in Greece.

Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Greece are highly exposed to a range of human rights abuses. Greece still does not have a fair and effective asylum system, and asylum seekers face major obstacles just to register their claims. Those unable to demonstrate that they have applied for asylum face arrest and detention or deportation as it is common practice in Greece for the police to detain asylum seekers and migrants not in possession of valid documents. Those detained are often held in poor or inhuman conditions and can languish in detention for prolonged periods.

The shortage of places in reception facilities means that many asylum-seekers and unaccompanied children are left homeless, or forced to live in squalid accommodation. On top of that, a new threat is the dramatic increase in the number of racist attacks by members of extreme right-wing groups.

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