21 March 2014

A group of organisations working with migrants, asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in Greece led by the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) has published ‘Recommendations to the European Union to Urgently Address Criminalisation and Violence Against Migrants in Greece’. The recommendations, launched during a public debate at the European Parliament, cover EU policies in the areas of asylum and migration, justice, employment and social inclusion.

In the field of asylum and migration, the recommendations urge the EU to provide Greece with financial and technical support to ensure compliance with EU legal standards, particularly with regard to the provision of adequate accommodation and subsistence support for asylum seekers.

The EU is also called on to reform the Dublin system to accord greater weight to the variety of factors that might connect an asylum applicant to one state over another, such as ‘community ties, prior residence, language, job skills, and the personal preference of the applicant’.

The group of NGOs recommends EU measures to ensure that migrants’ rights are protected in Greek border control, apprehension and deportation policy. The EU is asked to establish a mechanism for dealing with complaints about infringements of fundamental rights in all Frontex- coordinated operations by amending the powers of the Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer in Article 26(a) of the Frontex Regulation.

Within the context of immigration detention, the EU is asked to urge Greece to immediately repeal the Greek legislation of 2011 which enables migrants and asylum seekers to be detained and deported if suspected of representing a danger to public health. In addition, access to free legal representation to challenge the legality of detention, and alternatives such as open reception infrastructures and suitable accommodation for vulnerable migrants, must be promoted by the EU in Greece.

Within justice policy, the EU is called on to promote the effective implementation of Directive 2012/29/EU, which serves to ensure ‘access to justice and victim support for all victims of crime, irrespective of their residence status’, and of the EU Framework Decision on combating racism and xenophobia.

The NGOs who issued the recommendations are: Aitima, Asante, the European Anti-Poverty Network, ECRE, the European Network Against Racism, the European Network of Migrant Women, Generation 2.0, the Greek Forum of Migrants, the Greek Forum of Refugees, Médecins du Monde, and the Platform for International Co-operation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM).

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 21 March 2014
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