ΕλΕΔΑ: Απολυτήρια χωρίς θρήσκευμα; Πολύ καλό για να είναι αληθινό

eleda

Απολυτήρια χωρίς θρήσκευμα; Πολύ καλό για να είναι αληθινό

Με σημερινή ανακοίνωσή του, το Υπουργείο Παιδείας χαρακτηρίζει fake news συγκεκριμένο δημοσίευμα που έκανε λόγο για απάλειψη του θρησκεύματος από τα απολυτήρια μέσης εκπαίδευσης. Πράγματι, η σχετική υπουργική απόφαση δεν καταργεί την αναγραφή, παρά μόνον υπάγει το θρήσκευμα σε εκείνες τις καταχωρίσεις για τις οποίες απαιτείται αντίστοιχη εγγραφή στο δημοτολογικό πιστοποιητικό ή, ελλείψει αυτής, υπεύθυνη δήλωση των γονέων. Παραμένει, έτσι, το επίμαχο ζήτημα αρχής, για το οποίο η Ελληνική Ένωση για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου, επικαλούμενη τόσο το Σύνταγμα όσο και την ευρωπαϊκή νομοθεσία, έχει ήδη προσφύγει στην Αρχή Προστασίας Δεδομένων Προσωπικού Χαρακτήρα.

Είναι πραγματολογικά ορθή η έντονη αυτή αντίδραση, καθώς το Υπουργείο όχι μόνο δεν καταργεί την αναγραφή θρησκεύματος, αλλ’ ούτε καν διανοείται να συμπεριλάβει κάτι τέτοιο στις προτεραιότητές του. Ταυτόχρονα, όμως, το δημοσίευμα και η διάψευσή του συγκροτούν ένα ενδιαφέρον παράδειγμα για την επικοινωνιακή διαχείριση των δικαιωμάτων και για την ανάγκη διαρκούς εγρήγορσης των υποστηρικτών τους υπό συνθήκες οπισθοδρόμησης. Η κατάργηση της αποκάλυψης ενδιαθέτων φρονημάτων σε δημόσια μητρώα και έγγραφα αποτελούσε θεμελιώδες αίτημα του κράτους δικαίου, αποδεδειγμένα ώριμο ήδη πριν από δύο δεκαετίες με βάση τις αποφάσεις του Συμβουλίου Επικρατείας για τα δελτία αστυνομικής ταυτότητας. Σήμερα, αντιθέτως, το ίδιο εκείνο αίτημα όχι μόνον έχει παύσει να θεωρείται αυτονόητο, αλλ’ επί πλέον το ενδεχόμενο ικανοποίησής του προβάλλεται από μεν ορισμένα μέσα ενημέρωσης ως φάσμα εθνικού και κοινωνικού κινδύνου, από δε το αρμόδιο Υπουργείο ως προεκλογική συκοφαντία.

Απομένουν, έτσι, μοναχικοί και αμήχανοι όσοι συμπολίτες μας θα υποδέχονταν με ικανοποίηση, ως πραγματικές ειδήσεις και όχι φυσικά ως προεκλογικά fake news, την κατάργηση της αναγραφής θρησκεύματος, το θρησκευτικό αποχρωματισμό της εκπαίδευσης, το χωρισμό της εκκλησίας από το κράτος και γενικά την εξάλειψη υπολειμμάτων θεοκρατίας στην ελληνική κοινωνία. Στο όνομα αυτών των συμπολιτών μας αλλά και του ίδιου του κράτους δικαίου, η Ελληνική Ένωση για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου συνεχίζει με πείσμα τον αγώνα της.

 

18 Ιουνίου 2019

Ελληνική Ένωση για τα Δικαιώματα του Ανθρώπου

18/06/2019: Αναιρέθηκε απόφαση για υπόθεση Μανωλάδας που προκάλεσε καταδίκη Ελλάδας από ΕΔΔΑ

ap 2-2019 anairesi manoladas

Στις 18 Ιουνίου 2019, η Ποινική Ολομέλεια του Αρείου Πάγου αποφάσισε την αναίρεση υπέρ του νόμου της απόφασης 128/2014 του Μικτού Ορκωτού Δικαστηρίου Πατρών με την οποία απαλλάσσονταν από τις κατηγορίες της εμπορίας ανθρώπων και καταναγκαστικής  εργασίας την περίοδο 2012-2013 οι υπεύθυνοι για την εργασιακή εκμετάλλευση αλλοδαπών σε φραουλοχώραφα της Μανωλάδας. Την αναίρεση είχε ζητήσει στις 30 Οκτωβρίου 2018 η Εισαγγελία Αρείου Πάγου (βλπ. παρακάτω δελτίο τύπου της) μετά την καταδίκη της Ελλάδας από το ΕΔΔΑ για παραβίαση του άρθρου 4 της ΕΣΔΑ στην υπόθεση «Chowdury και λοιποί κατά Ελλάδας» στις 30 Μαρτίου 2017. Ο Άρειος Πάγος συζήτησε την αίτηση αναίρεσης στις 22 Νοεμβρίου 2018 και έβγαλε την απόφαση 2/2019 στις 18 Ιουνίου 2019.

Το Ελληνικό Παρατηρητήριο των Συμφωνιών του Ελσίνκι (ΕΠΣΕ) θεωρεί σημαντικότατη εξέλιξη την απόφαση αυτή και έχει ζητήσει μέσω της Επιτροπής Υπουργών του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης να υιοθετηθεί η αναίρεση στην εκτέλεση αποφάσεων του ΕΔΔΑ σε άλλες υποθέσεις (αστυνομικής βίας, μειονοτικών σωματείων, κτλ.) αφού και αφαιρεί από τη νομολογία τις εσφαλμένες αποφάσεις της ελληνικής δικαιοσύνης που οδήγησαν στις καταδίκες της Ελλάδας και αποτελεί μορφή “συγγνώμης” της ελληνικής δικαιοσύνης προς τα αδικηθέντα από αυτή και δικαιωθέντα από το ΕΔΔΑ θύματα. Το πιο πρόσφατο σχετικό αίτημα περιέχεται στην έκθεση προς την Επιτροπή για την ομάδα υποθέσεων αστυνομικής βίας «Μακαρατζής και λοιποί κατά Ελλάδας» της 25 Μαρτίου 2019.


Δελτίο Τύπου 30-10-2018

Η Εισαγγελέας του Αρείου Πάγου θεωρώντας ότι η υπ’αριθμ.75-128/30-7-2014 απόφαση του Μικτού Ορκωτού Δικαστηρίου Πατρών, σύμφωνα με την οποία οι κατηγορούμενοι στην υπόθεση κηρύχθηκαν αθώοι του εγκλήματος της εμπορίας ανθρώπων και της άμεσης σ’ αυτήν συνέργειας κατ΄εξακολούθηση και κατ’επάγγελμα, παραβίασε το άρθρο 4 παρ.2 της ΕΣΔΑ, όπως, άλλωστε , δέχθηκε και το ΕΔΔΑ, ανέθεσε στον Αντεισαγγελέα του Αρείου Πάγου Χαράλαμπο Βουρλιώτη την άσκηση αναίρεσης υπέρ του νόμου κατά της ανωτέρω απόφασης.

Κατόπιν τούτου, ο ανωτέρω Αντεισαγγελέας, σήμερα, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2018, άσκησε αναίρεση υπέρ του νόμου κατά της εν λόγω απόφασης , για εσφαλμένη ερμηνεία και εφαρμογή της διάταξης του άρθρου 323Α Π.Κ., καθώς και για έλλειψη ειδικής και εμπεριστατωμένης αιτιολογίας. Με το συγκεκριμένο ένδικο μέσο σκοπείται η διόρθωση των εσφαλμένων παραδοχών του ανωτέρω Δικαστηρίου , η διασφάλιση της ενότητας της νομολογίας και η αποτροπή επανάληψης και τυχόν παγίωσης των νομικών απόψεων που διαλαμβάνονται στην ίδια, ως άνω, απόφαση.

JUSTICIA European Rights Network expresses its deep concerns on the decision of Poland to introduce a possibility to sentence a convict for a whole life sentence

14June2019

The members of the JUSTICIA European Rights Network (a coalition of the European leading civil liberties organizations working on the right to a fair trial) would like to express their deep concerns regarding the recent Polish Parliament decision to adopt an amendment to the Criminal Code introducing a possibility to sentence a convict for a whole life sentence.

Pursuant to the newly adopted provision the Criminal Court will have a power to exclude the possibility of conditionalearly release whenever the nature or circumstances of convict’s crime, as well as its personal characteristics, indicate that the convicted person’srelease from prison will result in a permanent threat to the life, health, liberty orsexual freedom of any other person. Moreover, the Court will also be able to make a similar decision in the case of convicts who were previously sentenced to life imprisonment.The JUSTICIA European Rights Network would like to emphasize that these provisions raise serious concerns regarding theircompatibility with the Conventionfor the Protection of Human Rightsand Fundamental Freedoms(the “Convention”). The European Court of Human Rights has on numerous occasionspointed out that all life prisoners cannot be denied a prospect of a release and they should have a possibility to apply for the review of their sentence1.Otherwise, their punishment will result in inhuman treatment violating requirements arising from art. 3 of the Convention. This is also required by other international human rights standards. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for example,indicates that the essential aim of the penitentiary system should be a prisoner’s reformation and social rehabilitation. Moreover, theCouncil of 1See e.g.: ECtHR judgement (Grand Chamber) of 9 July 2013 in the case Vinter and Others v. the United Kingdom, application no. 66069/09; ECtHR judgement (Grand Chamber) of 26 April 2016 in the case Murray v. Netherlands, application no. 10511/10;ECtHR judgement of 4 October 2016 in the case T.P. and A.T. v. Hungary, application no. 37871/14

Europe Recommendationsindicate conditional release to be available to all sentenced prisoners, including life–sentenced prisoners2.Likewise, the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (“CPT”) has indicated its serious reservations regarding countries which have introduced whole life sentence. In the CPT’s opinion,imprisonment for life without any real hope of releasehas constitutesinhumantreatment.3Therefore, the members of JUSTICIA European Rights Network hope that Polish authorities will revoke proposed changes in Criminal Code and ensure compliance of the national system of conditional release with the requirements of the Council of Europe. As a result, we call upon the President of Poland to veto the proposed amendment. The adoption of this law will significantly underminehuman rights in Poland. 2Recommendation Rec(2003)22 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on conditional release (parole)3Situation of life-sentenced prisoners, Extract from the 25th General Report of the CPT, published in 2016, available at: https://rm.coe.int/16806cc447

A victory for Humanists and End Blasphemy Laws Campaign: Greece quietly drops ‘blasphemy’ laws from new criminal code! Also religious oath was abolished!

The Humanist Union of Greece (HUG) said today they welcomed:

“these very important developments and especially that they were not met with any significant opposition. HUG hopes that they will be promptly implemented and can only regret that a week after the adoption of the new Codes by Parliament the service Minister of Interior was sworn in with a religious oath on 11 June!”

endblasphemylaws

Greece quietly drops ‘blasphemy’ laws from new criminal code

Blasphemy law will be abolished in Greece from 1 July 2019, when new criminal law comes into effect.

The change comes as part of a wide-ranging overhaul of the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedures. The two previous articles outlawing ‘blasphemy’ have been dropped. At the same time, oaths of affirmation have been overhauled so that everyone recites the same civil affirmation, as opposed to any religious oath.

While there have been some words of criticism from leaders of the Greek Orthodox church, wider public reaction against the move has been minimal.

Humanists in Greece and internationally had been campaigning against the ‘blasphemy’ law, which was still actively used, sometimes to suppress religious criticism in theatre and the arts, LGBT rights groups, advertising campaigns, and social media users critical of the church or religion in general. The Humanist Union of Greece (HUG) said today they welcomed:

“these very important developments and especially that they were not met with any significant opposition. HUG hopes that they will be promptly implemented and can only regret that a week after the adoption of the new Codes by Parliament the service Minister of Interior was sworn in with a religious oath on 11 June!”

In one of the most famous of ‘blasphemy’ in recent years, a Facebook user Philippos Louizos was dragged through the courts for several years, over an image he made which made a pun on the name of a Greek Orthodox monk. From 2012 he faced the prospect of prison, only for the charges to be dropped in 2017.

 

 

04 – 06/06/2019: M.S.S. & Rahimi v. Greece asylum cases – Supervision of execution of ECtHR judgments by Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers [with reference to GHM-RRE, GCR and UNHCR submissions]

CMCOE

1348th meeting, 4-6 June 2019 (DH)

 

H46-9 M.S.S. and Rahimi groups v. Greece (Application No. 30696/09)

Supervision of the execution of the European Court’s judgments

Reference document

CM/Notes/1348/H46-9

 

Decisions

The Deputies

  1. recalling that these cases concern the degrading treatment of the applicants (asylum seekers or irregular migrants, including unaccompanied minors) on account of their conditions of detention; the degrading treatment of asylum-seeking applicants due to their living conditions; the lack of an effective remedy against expulsion, due to deficiencies in the asylum procedure; and the lack of an effective remedy to complain about the conditions of detention;

As regards individual measures

  1. noted that no further individual measures need to be taken as regards the cases A.F., B.M., Bygylashvili,Chkhartishvili, De los Santos and de la Cruz, Horshill,Kaja, Tatishvili, Al.K., H.H., F.H.,Chazaryan and others, A.Y., Tenko, S.G., Barjamaj andHousein; therefore decided to close their supervision of these cases and to adopt Final Resolution CM/ResDH(2019)154;

As regards general measures

Asylum procedure and absence of an effective remedy against expulsion

  1. welcomed the ongoing efforts made by the Greek authorities, in concert with the competent EU institutions and the UNHCR, to improve the national asylum system, and the notable increase in the overall rate of granting asylum;
  2. noting, however, with grave concern the increase of arrivals of third country nationals that could adversely affect the functioning of the asylum system and is the reason for the significant increase in the average time taken to register and process asylum applications, and the deficiencies of the asylum appeal procedure which have been reported by the Greek Ombudsman and expert NGOs; called on the authorities to provide information on the asylum appeal procedure and on further measures envisaged or adopted in order to enhance the efficiency of the overall administrative procedure and the effectiveness of existing administrative remedies;

Living conditions of asylum seekers

  1. welcomed the concerted efforts made and the measures taken to ensure decent accommodation, provision of welfare and healthcare services, access to the labour market and to education for asylum seekers;
  2. took into account the continuing and increasing arrival of third country nationals, including asylum seekers; noted, furthermore the concerns expressed by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and NGOs that the living conditions of asylum seekers have remained critical, despite the commendable efforts and the achievements of the authorities to date; therefore called on the authorities to continue and step up their efforts;
  3. also called on the authorities to implement the recommendations of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights on the need to further enhance the provision of health care services to asylum seekers and irregular migrants in detention;

Reception and protection of unaccompanied minors

  1. welcomed the adoption in 2018 of the law on guardianship and invited the authorities to proceed to its prompt implementation in order to put in place a comprehensive and efficient system of reception and protection of all unaccompanied minors;
  2. expressed, however, concern about the inadequate number of suitable places available in accommodation facilities for minors and the significant number of minors placed in “protective custody” or in reception centres at the borders, and called on the authorities to intensify their efforts to increase the capacity of accommodation suitable for unaccompanied minors;

Conditions of detention

  1. noted with satisfaction that domestic case-law has evolved to allow irregular migrants, including unaccompanied minors, to complain about their conditions of detention; noted also the relevant case-law of the Court and decided to close their supervision of this issue;
  2. while noting with satisfaction that certain immigration detention facilities visited by the CPT in 2018 provided decent conditions, expressed serious concern at the fact that a number of other immigration facilities and police stations seem to be below Convention standards, and that the detention of unaccompanied minors persists;
  3. recalling the Court’s case-law and recommendations of the CPT, called on the authorities to end the practice of detaining unaccompanied minors and transfer them without delay to a (semi-) open establishment specialised for juveniles;
  4. invited the authorities to give effect to the recommendations made by the CPT and to improve the conditions in immigration detention facilities, including by providing adequate health-care services;
  5. invited the authorities to keep the Committee regularly informed about developments on all of the above-mentioned issues;
  6. decided to resume examination of these cases at their September 2020 DH meeting.

 


 

1348th meeting, 4-6 June 2019 (DH)

Human rights

 

H46-9 M.S.S. and Rahimi groups v. Greece

Supervision of the execution of the European Court’s judgments

Reference documents

DH-DD(2019)372, CM/ResDH(2014)272, CM/Del/Dec(2017)1288/H46-15

 

Application Case Judgment of Final on Indicator for the classification
M.S.S. GROUP
30696/09 M.S.S. 21/01/2011 Grand Chamber Structural and complex problem
53709/11 A.F. 13/06/2013 07/10/2013
53608/11 B.M. 19/12/2013 19/03/2014
58164/10 BYGYLASHVILI 25/09/2012 25/12/2012
22910/10 CHKHARTISHVILI 02/05/2013 02/08/2013
2134/12+ DE LOS SANTOS AND DE LA CRUZ 26/06/2014 26/09/2014
78456/11 F.H. 31/07/2014 31/10/2014
70427/11 HORSHILL 01/08/2013 01/11/2013
32927/03 KAJA 27/07/2006 27/10/2006
26452/11 TATISHVILI 31/07/2014 31/10/2014
63542/11 AL.K. 11/12/2014 11/03/2015
63493/11 H.H. 09/10/2014 09/01/2015
76951/12 CHAZARYAN AND OTHERS 16/07/2015 16/07/2015
58399/11 A.Y. 05/11/2015 05/02/2016
7811/15 TENKO 21/07/2016 21/07/2016
46558/12 S.G. 18/05/2017 18/05/2017
39034/12 A.E.A. 15/03/2018 15/06/2018
RAHIMI GROUP
8687/08 RAHIMI 05/04/2011 05/07/2011 Complex problem
36657/11 BARJAMAJ 02/05/2013 02/08/2013
71825/11 HOUSEIN 24/10/2013 24/01/2014

Case description

These cases concern the degrading treatment of the applicants (asylum seekers or irregular migrants, including unaccompanied minors) on account of their conditions of detention[1] (such as overcrowding, lack of bed/mattress, insufficient ventilation, lack of regular access to toilets or sanitary facilities, lack of outdoor exercise, unsuitable food or inadequate allowances for food, etc.) in various detention facilities (such as police stations, premises of authorities in charge of immigration or foreign nationals, border posts or the special holding facility at the Athens International Airport) (violations of Article 3).

Some of these cases[2] also concern the asylum-seeking applicants’ degrading treatment due to their living conditions in Greece, resulting from the authorities’ inaction in respect of the situation in which they found themselves: living on the street, without access to sanitary facilities and without means of providing for their essential needs (violations of Article 3).

Lastly, some cases in the M.S.S. group concern violations of the applicants’ right to an effective remedy on two grounds (violations of Article 13 taken in conjunction with Article 3):

–   lack of an effective remedy against expulsion, due to deficiencies in the examination of the applicants’ asylum applications, notably lack of thorough and timely examination of the merits of asylum applications, and the risks incurred in case of expulsion to countries of origin;[3] or

–   lack of an effective remedy to complain about the conditions of detention.[4]

Similar Article 3 issues arise in other cases but are dealt with in a separate group (S.D. group) which also concerns immigration detention issues under Article 5. Details are footnoted below.[5]

Status of execution

Individual measures:

M.S.S.: The applicant obtained refugee status in Belgium. Thus the examination of the individual measures in this case was closed in June 2012. According to information provided by the authorities on 29 March 2019, all applicants (23 applicants in 15 cases) in respect of whom violations were found on account of conditions of detention or of lack of an effective remedy to challenge conditions of detention have been released.

As regards the other applicants in respect of whom violations were found on account of their living conditions (AL.K, F.H, S.G and Rahimi):

AL.K.: The applicant’s asylum application was rejected at both instances and on 20 February 2017 he was ordered to leave the country within 90 days.

F.H. and Rahimi: The applicants were granted international protection.

S.G.: The asylum application lodged by the applicant was considered tacitly withdrawn because the applicant did not request the renewal of his asylum-seeker card.

As regards the applicants in respect of whom violations were found due to the lack of an effective remedy to challenge their expulsion, together with the shortcomings of the asylum procedure (A.E.A and A.Y):

A.E.A.: The asylum application lodged by the applicant was considered tacitly withdrawn because the applicant did not request the renewal of his asylum-seeker card.

A.Y.: No application for asylum has been pending in respect of the applicant.

The Committee was informed of the payment of just satisfaction in the case A.E.A on 6 May 2019. Therefore, this payment will be considered final on 6 June 2019. All the applicants in the remaining cases have received the just satisfaction awarded by the Court.

General measures:[6]

At its latest examination in June 2017, the Committee invited the authorities in particular: a) to elaborate, in cooperation with other stakeholders a plan for the registration and processing of asylum applications, so that they are processed within a reasonable timeframe, b) to develop a strategy securing the full protection of unaccompanied minors on the basis of an effective guardianship system, c) to improve conditions of detention in all detention facilities including by providing adequate health-care services and d) to ensure, as a matter of priority, that alternatives to the detention of minors are found and that where, exceptionally, minors are detained, they are held separately from adults and in conditions adapted to their vulnerable situation.

In reply to the above-mentioned decisions, on 28 March 2019 (DH-DD(2019)372) the Greek authorities provided extensive information that may be summarised as follows:

  1. Asylum procedures:

The authorities noted that measures to enhance asylum procedures were taken by Law No. 4375/2016 which was amended by Law No. 4540/2018. 12 Regional Asylum Offices and 11 Autonomous Asylum Units are now staffed with 681 employees and operate throughout Greece. 133 further employees are planned to be hired in 2019. Recently-hired personnel were trained by members of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in all issues concerning registration and examination of asylum applications as well as the legislation regulating these issues. All staff undergo continuous training.

Furthermore, the authorities noted that third-country nationals and asylum applicants are informed about access to asylum procedures and their rights, and are provided with free interpretation services.

Between 7 June 2013, when the Asylum Service started operating, and 31 December 2018, 204,097 asylum applications were registered, out of which 58,642 were submitted in 2017 and 66,969 in 2018. There was a 14.9% increase of applications lodged in 2017 and a 14.2% increase in 2018.

In 2017, 51,599 decisions were issued at first instance. Of these, 22,450 rejected applications as inadmissible and 6,668 terminated the procedure because of explicit or implicit withdrawal of applications. 46% of the 22,481 decisions on the merits granted international protection.

In 2018, 46,198 decisions were issued at first instance. Of these, 4,834 rejected asylum applications as inadmissible and 10,616 terminated the procedure because of explicit or implicit withdrawal of applications. 49.4% of the 30,748 decisions on the merits granted international protection.

The average time between pre -registration and full registration of asylum applications was 122.46 days in 2017 and 59.72 days in 2018. The average time from full registration to delivery of a decision at first instance was 153.27 days in 2017 and 235.41 days in 2018. As regards the special border zone procedure, the average time between pre-registration and full registration was 23.9 days in 2017 and 27.66 days in 2018.

In 2017, 4,542 asylum applications were lodged by persons in detention while in 2018 the number was 7,009. For this category, the average time from pre-registration to delivery of a decision was 125.25 days in 2017 and 145.41 days in 2018.

As regards asylum applications by unaccompanied minors, 2,640 applications were lodged in 2017 and 2,639 in 2018; the average time from pre-registration to delivery of a decision was 258.14 days in 2017 and 403.36 days in 2018. In 2017, 1,672 decisions concerning applications lodged by minors were issued at first instance, of which 738 rejected applications as inadmissible and 251 terminated the procedure because of explicit or implicit withdrawal of the applications. Out of the 683 decisions on the merits, 188 granted international protection. In 2018, 1,839 decisions concerning applications lodged by minors were issued at first instance, of which 350 rejected applications as inadmissible and 581 terminated the procedure because of explicit or implicit withdrawal of the applications. Out of the 908 decisions on the merits, 345 granted international protection.

At second instance, during 2017-2018, 26,999 appeals were lodged, of which 847 were granted. Interpretation and free legal assistance are also provided at second instance. As regards backlog cases (asylum applications lodged before 7 June 2013 at second instance), 83,002 of the backlog cases have been processed while 430 cases remain to be examined. 42,595 decisions were issued rejecting applications, 27,914 were issued discontinuing the asylum and 12,493 were issued granting international protection.

The Greek authorities stressed that the unprecedented increase in migration flows during 2015-2016 exerted tremendous pressure on the national asylum system, resulting in longer periods for registration and processing of asylum applications.

Lastly, the Greek authorities underlined that, despite the significant progress made in living conditions of asylum seekers, in particular those concerning minors, conditions of detention and the asylum procedure, the country remains under extreme migratory pressure. According to the authorities, the continuing increase of asylum applications which increases the average processing time and therefore prolongs inevitably the provision of accommodation and other services to asylum seekers, are present challenges that are constantly changing randomly and make the magnitude of needs unpredictable. . Hence, there is a need for revision of the EU asylum system, to ensure that the responsibilities are shared by all EU member States.

  1. Living conditions of asylum seekers:

According to the aforementioned communication from the Greek authorities, the situation concerning asylum seekers has completely changed since January 2011 when the M.S.S. judgment was delivered. Consequently, the examination of the living conditions of asylum seekers should be limited to those asylum seekers whose situation is similar to the situation examined by the Court in the M.S.S. group of cases, while the situation of third country nationals residing in Reception and Identification Centres (RICs – see below) cannot be examined from the point of view of the living conditions of asylum seekers as assessed in the M.S.S. judgment.

Accommodation, food, clothing and healthcare services are provided to asylum seekers under three basic schemes: a) RICs at the entry points, b) hospitality centres managed by non-profit organisations or international organisations, and c) houses, apartments or hotels leased in the framework of housing programmes. Following the influx of one million third-country nationals since 2015, the Greek authorities, in cooperation with the European Commission and UNHCR, managed to set up six RICs on the Eastern Aegean islands and in the Evros region, 26 temporary accommodation facilities on the mainland and to lease a number of apartments and hotels to accommodate a large number of asylum seekers. By the end of 2018, 18,369 persons lived in the above 26 accommodation facilities while 29 4799 persons lived in apartments and hotel rooms.

Lastly the authorities indicated that by the end of 2018, 11,683 persons lived in the RICs on the Eastern Aegean islands while in September 2018 18,107 persons lived there. The decrease in the number of asylum seekers living in RICs was due to the relocation of 29,090 persons belonging to vulnerable groups from the islands to the mainland. On February 2019, the progress achieved in providing accommodation and other services to asylum seekers was pointed out by the UNCHR Representative in Greece who stressed that since 2014 the accommodation capacity increased from 1,000 to 27,000 accommodation places in apartments and 20,000 places in hosting centres. Financial support is provided to asylum seekers subject to whether accommodation or other services are available to them.

As regards health care in particular, it is noted that asylum seekers are considered members of a vulnerable group having access to health care either in accommodation facilities or in public hospitals. All asylum seekers are vaccinated.

The Greek authorities have ensured access to education for refugee and migrant children by launching since the school year 2016-2017 a special educational programme which established “Reception /Preparatory Classes for the Education of Refugees” in certain public schools in areas accessible from the various accommodation facilities where asylum seekers reside. The programme aims at facilitating all refugee and migrant children in joining mainstream classes in Greek schools. At the same time, a number of refugee and migrant children were enrolled in Greek schools offering “reception” preparatory classes or in mainstream Greek schools. During the 2017-2018 school year, 7,316 refugee and migrant children were enrolled in the above educational units.

As regards access to labour market, according to legislation promulgated in 2016 and 2018, asylum seekers have access to labour and vocational training programmes under the same conditions as Greek citizens. By the end of 2018, 6,150 beneficiaries of international protection and asylum seekers were registered in unemployment registers.

III. Reception and protection of unaccompanied minors:

The authorities indicated that providing adequate accommodation and decent living conditions to unaccompanied minors arriving in Greece is one of their priorities. Unaccompanied minors are referred to accommodation centres for minors or to other accommodation centres where there are areas suitably adapted for this purpose, for as long as they stay in the country or until they are placed with a foster family or in supervised lodgings.

In December 2018, the overall capacity of accommodation facilities for minors amounted to 1,959 places, whereas the number of unaccompanied minors amounted to 3,741 (7.2% of whom were under 14). Priority is given to minors under 15 or with health problems. At accommodation centres, minors are provided with food and clothing as well as with healthcare services and the assistance of psychologists and lawyers.

New guardianship system: Under Law No. 4554/2018, a guardian is appointed for every third country or stateless person under the age of 18 who arrives in Greece without being accompanied by a relative or non-relative exercising parental guardianship or custody. The law sets out the terms for the appointment and replacement of a guardian for unaccompanied minors as well as the creation and functions of a Supervisory Guardianship Board.

The guardian has responsibilities which include ensuring decent accommodation, representing and assisting the minor in all judicial and administrative procedures, accompanying the minor to clinics or hospitals and providing access to psychological support, guaranteeing that the minor is safe during his/her their stay in the country and taking care of the minor’s education. The Supervisory Guardianship Board has the competence to assess and define the interest of the unaccompanied minor, where an important decision for the future of the unaccompanied minor is to be taken in the near future (for example, on a non-urgent medical problem, a possible disability, issues related to religious beliefs).  The Council will decide upon a reasoned proposal from the tutor. Additionally, the Department for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors at the National Centre for Social Solidarity will have the responsibility of guaranteeing safe accommodation for unaccompanied minors and evaluating the quality of services provided in those accommodations. The above guardianship system is planned to be fully operational during 2019.

  1. Conditions of detention:

The authorities noted that 68,112 third-country nationals were arrested on Greek territory during 2017 (66.75% less than in 2016) while 93,367 third-country nationals were arrested during 2018. In 2017, 25,810 return/deportation orders were issued while 32,718 such orders were issued in 2018. Furthermore, the number of new arrivals of third-country nationals who entered in Greece through the land borders with Turkey increased by 170.15% in 2018. Third-country nationals subject to deportation, namely those who did not apply for asylum or whose applications have been definitively rejected, can, under the applicable legislation, be detained.

During 2017-2018, eight pre-return detention centres operated (six of them on the mainland (Amygdaleza, Tavros, Xanthi, Drama, Orestiada and Korinthos) and two on the Eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos and Kos. The authorities indicated that since 2016 asylum seekers arriving on the Eastern Aegean islands are not detained though they are not allowed to leave the islands. However, in order to detain offenders and migrants subject to deportation on Eastern Aegean islands, the two above-mentioned pre-return centres were created on Lesvos and Kos. The overall capacity of the eight pre-return detention centres amounts to 6,417 places, their operational capacity to 3,477 places while the number of detainees on 31 December 2018 was 2,098. The occupancy of the said detention facilities never exceeded their operational capacity.

Pre-return detention centres are tasked with providing detainees with food, clothing and health-care services; the latter is provided by public medical and nursing personnel, or other organisations or agencies. Cases which cannot be handled in the above centres are referred to state-run hospitals. The personal space available to each detainee corresponds at least to four sq. metres, there is outdoor space for activities, three meals are offered per day and direct access to telephones is ensured; areas are set aside for religious worship. All detainees can submit requests to the centre’s director and communicate with lawyers, members of NGOs and other agencies. Information is systematically provided to detainees about their rights and obligations, including their right to communicate with representatives of NGOs or other organisations or agencies. Representatives of NGOs and other agencies have daily access to the centres to communicate with detainees and provide legal assistance, so that detainees have access to the asylum procedure during detention.

Activities related to migrant detention centres are funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union for the period 2014-2020 (National Programme of the area of Home Affairs for the period 2014-2020). In the framework of the implementation of this programme, doctors, nurses, psychologists have been hired and detention facilities have been refurbished.

As regards detention of unaccompanied minors: 571 were detained in 2017 and 608 in 2018 in the above -mentioned pre-return detention centres. They were detained separately from adults in specially designated areas. The detention of minors is decided for as short a period as possible (and not longer than 25 days or in exceptional situations not longer than 45 days) when it is established that alternatives to detention cannot be applied. Unaccompanied minors are kept in detention facilities supervised by the police until they are subsequently transferred to hostel accommodation. While every possible effort is made to trace the minor’s family, a guardian is appointed to ensure the protection of the minor and his/her interests.

As regards the lack of an effective remedy for conditions of detention: The authorities indicated that the Court has held that the remedy provided for by Article 76 of Law No. 3386/2005, as amended in 2010, is an effective remedy to complain about conditions of administrative detention.

Analysis by the Secretariat

Individual measures

It follows from the information provided by the authorities that there are no further individual measures that need to be taken. Therefore, since the implementation of the general measures will continue to be monitored in the remaining cases of the M.S.S. and Rahimi groups, it is proposed that the Committee close the monitoring of the following cases: A.F, B.M, Bygylashvili, Chkhartishvili, De los Santos and De la Cruz, F.H, Horshill, Kaja, Tattishvili, Al.K, H.H, Chazaryan and others, A.Y, Tenko, S.G, Barjamiaj and Housein.

General measures

  1. Asylum procedures

During 2015-2016 Greece received an unprecedented number of third-country nationals, the majority of whom lodged asylum applications. Action was taken by the Greek authorities to respond to this situation, in cooperation with the European Commission and competent agencies of the EU, UNHCR and NGOs. The national asylum system has developed, the number of regional asylum offices and autonomous asylum units has increased, as did the staff of the Asylum Service. The first-instance asylum-granting rate in 2017 was 46% while in 2018 it rose to 49.4%.

It is noted that at second instance the number of appeals granted has been very limited. Out of the total substantive decisions issued in 2018, 2.8% granted refugee status, 1.5% subsidiary protection, 4.5% referred the case for humanitarian protection, and 91% of the decisions were negative.[7]

Also, the Greek Ombudsman in his 2018 report noted that in 2018, the examination of asylum appeals lodged under the earlier asylum legislation (Presidential Decree 114/2010) and still pending continued to be delayed. This was due to the cessation of the Interior Ministry appeal committees which did not operate in 2018 even if this was provided for by Law 4540/2018. The Ombudsman expressed his concern at this situation which places asylum seekers in a precarious legal situation.[8]

As regards legal aid, it is noted that a state-funded legal aid scheme in the appeal procedure, based on a list managed by the Asylum Service, exists in Greece since September 2017. An expert NGO report indicates that the capacity of the second-instance legal aid scheme remains limited. Out of a total of 15,355 appeals lodged in 2018, only 3,351 (21.8%) asylum seekers benefited from the state-funded legal aid scheme.[9] In this respect, however, it should be noted that the Court referred to legal aid for irregular migrants and/or asylum seekers to reject their applications  relating to the asylum procedure or their conditions of detention (see inter alia Moras et al, No. 20/13, § 34, decision of 20/10/2015; Josef and Others, No. 76854/11, §§ 27-28, decision of 24/01/2017).

In its “Recommendations for Greece in 2017” (February 2017)[10], UNHCR stated that progress had been made but significant challenges relating to, in particular, registration and asylum processing, still had to be addressed. More specifically, six months after arrival on the Greek islands, many asylum seekers were still waiting for the full registration and processing of their asylum applications. On the mainland, first-instance decisions for those pre-registered during the summer of 2016 would take approximately two years. Therefore, according to UNHCR, the pace of registration and the lack of capacity fully to process asylum claims within a reasonable timeframe needed to be resolved. It follows from the information provided by the authorities in March 2019 that the average time to register and process an asylum application at first instance has in fact significantly increased.

Furthermore, given that no statistical data have been provided by the authorities concerning the examination of asylum applications on appeal, or about the reasoning of decisions given at second instance rejecting appeals, either on admissibility grounds or on the merits, the authorities could be requested to provide such information so that the Committee may evaluate also the effectiveness of the existing remedy against rejection decisions and the asylum procedure as a whole.

In conclusion, it transpires from the above-mentioned information that, despite the significant efforts made by Greece in the context of very pressing migration flows during the recent years, asylum procedures still show a number of significant challenges that require the adaptation of the measures taken to the new data.

  1. Living conditions of asylum seekers

As noted by the Court at § 250 of the M.S.S. judgment, the obligation of the State to provide accommodation and decent material conditions to impoverished asylum-seekers has now entered into positive law, namely the EU “Reception Directive” 2003/09 which has been transposed to Greek law. According to the Reception Directive (now Directive 2013/33) living conditions of asylum seekers include: a) material reception conditions, namely housing, food, and clothing, provided in kind, or as financial allowances or in vouchers, and a daily expenses allowance; b) health care; and c) access to the labour market.

It emerges from the information provided by the Greek authorities that in December 2018, 47,848 asylum seekers were provided with accommodation, welfare and healthcare services on the mainland. It is also noted that under the EU funded ESTIA programme managed by UNHCR, as of March 2019 approximately 69,000 eligible refugee and asylum seekers had received cash assistance in 111 locations in Greece, amounting to €6.9 million.[11] Nevertheless, the number of available places for accommodation is not clarified in the updated action plan. It can be deduced from the reference made to the statement by the UNHCR Representative in Greece that in January 2019 the accommodation places available amounted to 47,000. The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights (‘the Commissioner’) noted in her report published in November 2018[12] that, in respect of living conditions of asylum seekers on the mainland, despite certain positive developments, the situation remained critical and might deteriorate rapidly if transfers of asylum seekers from the Aegean islands were not combined with both further significant increase in the capacities of the mainland’s reception facilities and an improvement of their conditions. In the same report, the Commissioner noted the need to further enhance migrants’ health care system, migrant children’s education attendance and to facilitate migrants’ access to the labour market.

Despite the positive information provided by the authorities indicating that the number of third-country nationals in RICs has been reduced due to transfers from the Eastern Aegean islands to the mainland, in a communication received on 16 April 2019 (DH-DD(2019)467), the Greek Helsinki Monitor and Refugee Rights Europe indicated a number of serious shortcomings notably on the RICs of the islands of Chios and Lesvos. The shortcomings concern, inter alia, overcrowding in camps, unsanitary living conditions therein and very inadequate access to health services. In a communication received on 24 April 2019 (DH-DD(2019)515), the Greek Refugee Council expressed similar concerns and noted that as regards the mainland, although the capacity has increased, the country-wide shortage of accommodation is leading to the overcrowding of many mainland camps while sexual and gender based violence is a major risk in some mainland sites.

It is noted that the Court has not examined the living conditions in the reception centres of the Aegean islands. In the O.S.A. and Others and J.R. and Others, the Court dismissed the applicants’ complaints concerning their conditions of detention in the reception center Vial, in Chios (hotspot) between March and May 2016.

It transpires from the above information that the Greek authorities, in cooperation with the European Commission, UNHCR and other stakeholders, have achieved significant progress in ensuring decent accommodation as well as welfare and healthcare services to asylum seekers. The measures taken to safeguard access to education for migrant children and to the labour market for asylum seekers are also important. However, the authorities could be invited to keep the Committee regularly updated on developments concerning living conditions of asylum seekers and be encouraged to take further steps in line with the recommendations made notably by UNHCR and the Commissioner to ensure adequate accommodation and decent living conditions for asylum seekers.

III. Reception and protection of unaccompanied minors

UNHCR noted in the factsheet published in March 2019[13] that although there are 3,773 unaccompanied minors in Greece, only 1,085 places are available in shelters and apartments. As a result, many minors spend lengthy periods in “protective custody” (in police stations) or in reception centres at the borders waiting for a place in a shelter appropriate to their age, while others have limited options but to stay in informal housing or risk becoming homeless.

The Commissioner noted in her above-mentioned report that, as of 15 August 2018, there were 3,290 unaccompanied minors in Greece, while there were only 1,191 available places in dedicated shelters or supported, independent-living apartments. Among the 2,241 children registered on the waiting list, 127 were deprived of liberty under the regime of ‘’protective custody’’, 296 were hosted in RICs, 161 in open temporary accommodation facilities, 254 in “safe zones’’, 413 in hotels, 437 were reported as homeless and 254 lived in informal housing arrangements. For almost 300 of these minors no location was reported.

The Commissioner expressed her concern about the reported poor shelter conditions and the lack of social support that most unaccompanied migrant children experience in Greece as well as about the deprivation of liberty of those detained under the “protective custody” regime. The Commissioner recommended that the Greek authorities immediately stop the detention of unaccompanied migrant children and take further measures to improve the living conditions of unaccompanied minors and ensure their full access to education.

The adoption in 2018 of the law on guardianship is a positive measure. The authorities could be invited to proceed to its prompt implementation and inform the Committee accordingly. Bearing in mind the significant discrepancy between the places available in accommodation facilities suitable for minors and the number of minors living in “protective custody” (police stations) or in reception centres at the borders waiting for a place in a shelter appropriate for their age, the authorities could be invited to address the issue by increasing the accommodation capacity in shelters and apartments suitable for minors and provide them with necessary and adequate welfare and health services.

  1. Conditions of detention

According to the CPT 2018 visit report which was published in February 2019,[14] conditions of detention in the pre-departure centres in Amygdaleza and Pyli were good and an open-door-regime was applied at these two centres. On the contrary, conditions of detention remained very poor at the centre in Moria (Lesbos) where repair works were required and persons detained there were locked in their rooms for around 22 hours per day. At the Fylakio (Evros region) pre-departure centre, the cells were overcrowded and material conditions were found to be unacceptable. Furthermore, the CPT considered decent the conditions of detention at Feres and Soufli (Evros region) Police and Border Guard Stations, including the provision of daily outdoor exercise. However, all other police stations visited were not suitable places to hold asylum seekers and irregular migrants and conditions of detention remained totally inadequate for stays exceeding 24 hours. Despite this, according to the CPT report, police stations throughout Greece were used for holding irregular migrants, including women and young children for prolonged periods.

As regards the provision of health-care in the pre-departure centres visited, the CPT found that the available resources were totally inadequate compared to the needs observed. As regards the detention of minors, the CPT noted that unaccompanied children were still held under the so-called “protective custody” for up to several weeks until their transfer to a dedicated open shelter facility, which is mainly due to the totally insufficient number of open shelters available.

The authorities indicated that 571 unaccompanied minors were detained in 2017 and 608 in 2018. According to the above-mentioned 2017 UNHCR recommendations to Greece and the aforementioned CPT report, accompanied and unaccompanied children are in some circumstances detained in closed reception or police facilities, sometimes with adults. In this context it is noted that in a judgment delivered on 28 February 2019 (H.A. and Others v. Greece), the Court found, inter alia, a violation of Article 3 due to the detention of nine unaccompanied minors in police stations in northern Greece for periods ranging from 21 to 33 days.

In view of the above-mentioned developments, the Greek authorities need to provide information on the measures taken and/or envisaged to: a) improve conditions of detention in all detention facilities where irregular migrants and asylum seekers are detained, including providing adequate health-care services, and b) ensure, as a matter of priority, that alternatives to the detention of minors are found and that, in the exceptional event that they are detained, they are held separately from adults and in suitable conditions corresponding to their vulnerability.

As regards the remedy concerning conditions of detention, as indicated in Memorandum
H/Exec(2014)4-rev, the position of the Greek authorities has been that conditions of detention were part of the lawfulness of detention and could be challenged through Article 76 of Law No. 3386/2005. The European Court has held that this provision constitutes an effective remedy, which must be exhausted before lodging a complaint to the European Court (admissibility decision of 27 January 2017, Paul Josef and Others (Application No. 76854/11)). Therefore, the Committee could consider closing the monitoring of cases involving this violation.

Financing assured: YES

[1] M.S.S., A.F, AL.K, A.Y, B.M, Bygylashvili, Chazaryan and Others, Chkhartishvili, de Los Santos and de La Cruz, F.H, H.H, Horshill, Kaja, Tatishvili and Rahimi.

[2] M.S.S, AL.K, F.H, S.G, Rahimi.

[3] M.S.S, A.E.A, A.Y.

[4] M.S.S and B.M.

[5] The S.D. and Rahimi groups of cases concern violations of the applicants’ right to liberty on account of their unlawful deprivation of liberty (violations of Article 5 § 1) and absence of judicial review of the lawfulness of their detention (violations of Article 5 § 4).

[6] Information on measures adopted and examined by the Committee between 2011 and 2015 is available in the Notes of the 1288th meeting DH (CM/Notes/1288/H46-15).

[7] ECRE – AIDA, Country Report: Greece, March 2019, https://www.asylumineurope.org/sites/default/files/report-download/aida_gr_2018update.pdf, p.16.

[8] Greek Ombudsman, Annual Report 2018, March 2019, https://www.synigoros.gr/resources/docs/ee2018-p04-119-214-eid-them-enot.pdf, p. 213 (in Greek).

[9] ECRE-AIDA, idem.

[10] https://www.unhcr.org/58d8e8e64.pdf.

[11] UNHCR, Cash Assistance Update, March 2019, https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/68816.

[12] Report of the Commissioner following her visit to Greece from 25 to 29 June 2018, 6 November 2018.

[13] UNCHR Fact Sheet Greece 1-31 March 2019, https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/69017.

[14] Report on the visit to Greece carried out by CPT from 10 to 19 April 2018, 19 February 2019.


Reports submitted for MMS – Rahimi referred to in the analysis

Greek Helsinki Monitor – Refugee Rights Europe https://search.coe.int/cm/pages/result_details.aspx?objectid=090000168094238b

Greek Council for Refugees https://search.coe.int/cm/pages/result_details.aspx?objectid=0900001680945e4e

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees https://search.coe.int/cm/pages/result_details.aspx?objectid=090000168094238b

Joint NGO call to end financial crisis at UN human rights mechanisms

Joint NGO call to end financial crisis at UN human rights mechanisms

Date : 2019.05.29

In response to the critical funding situation affecting the UN human rights system due to delays in UN member states’ payments and cuts of the UN budget, which can lead to postponement of six human rights treaty bodies’ sessions in autumn 2019 including the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), IMADR joined the call to UN member states.

In the letter, over 350 NGOs urge UN member states to:

  • Pay their assessed contributions without further delay;
  • Prioritise securing adequate funding for the UN’s human rights pillar; and
  • Initiate discussions to assure that the UN human rights mechanisms
    are not disproportionately affected by over-all cuts to the UN budget.

Read the full text below or download the letter with signatories.


To:
All Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva and New York
Cc:
UN Secretary General
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Chairpersons of the Human Rights Treaty Bodies
Coordination Committee of UN Special Procedures

28 May 2019

Open NGO letter regarding the critical funding gap affecting UN human rights mechanisms and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

It is with a sense of urgency that we convey our deep concern regarding the critical funding situation affecting the UN’s human rights mechanisms and OHCHR. We understand that the combination of delays in payments of UN member states’ assessed contributions to the regular budget and the 25% cut to travel of UN representatives, including treaty body experts and Special Procedure mandate holders, and other budget cuts (2018-2019) may adversely impact on the capacity of various human rights mechanisms to carry out
their mandates effectively.

In April, the Chairpersons of the 10 human rights treaty bodies were informed that due to the financial situation, the autumn 2019 sessions of six treaty bodies may need to be cancelled.[1] Not only is the cancellation of treaty body sessions deeply worrying as it may involve cancellation of reviews already scheduled and delay decisions on individual communications pending before the Committees but it also sends a troubling message ahead of the 2020 treaty body strengthening discussions. This unprecedented development would come as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 40th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

We understand that other independent expert mechanisms such as the Special Procedures, and other mechanisms created by the Human Rights Council such as Fact-Finding Missions and Commissions of Inquiry, may also be hampered in carrying out their mandates to monitor and investigate human rights violations.

As of 10 May, only 44 UN member states had paid all their assessments due to the UN. We would like to commend Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malawi, Malaysia, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Rwanda, Samoa, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Sweden, Switzerland and Tuvalu for having done so.[2] 98 member states had paid their regular budget assessments by 20 May 2019.

The failure to pay assessed contributions is only the latest in a worrying trend of shortfalls and cuts affecting the UN budget allocated to its human rights mechanisms. In the 2018-2019 budget the General Assembly made adjustments to reduce the resources for experts by 15 per cent, reduce the travel of representatives by 25 per cent, and reduce resources for travel of staff by 10 per cent[3], all without taking into account the disproportionate effect these decisions would have on the UN’s human rights mechanism. Only 3.7 per cent
of the total UN regular budget is currently allocated to OHCHR[4]. We are extremely concerned by reports that the funding gap may affect the functioning of OHCHR and the human rights mechanisms in 2020 and beyond.

Against the worrying background of a global pushback against the promotion and protection of human rights, we urge all UN member states to:

  • Pay their assessed contributions without further delay, unless they have already done so, in order to assure the functioning of the UN’s human rights mechanisms.
  • Prioritise securing adequate funding for the UN’s human rights pillar, with the promotion and protection of human rights being also indispensable to development, peace and security.
  • Initiate, in due time ahead of the 2020-2021 budget negotiations, discussions on how to reverse the trend of reduced regular budget for OHCHR and assuring that the UN’s human rights mechanisms are not disproportionately affected by over-all cuts to the UN budget, including by restoring the budget allocation for travel of representatives for these mechanisms.

 

[1] https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24621&LangID=E
[2]  http://undocs.org/en/A/73/443/Add.1, para. 26 and https://www.un.org/en/ga/contributions/honourroll.shtml accessed on 27 May 2019.
[3] https://www.un.org/press/en/2017/gaab4270.doc.htm
[4] https://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/FundingBudget.aspx

30/05/2019: Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες: “Άμεσα μέτρα για την προστασία των παιδιών μεταναστών και προσφύγων στην Ελλάδα υποδεικνύει η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων”

gcr.JPG

ΔΕΛΤΙΟ ΤΥΠΟΥ

Άμεσα μέτρα για την προστασία των παιδιών μεταναστών και προσφύγων στην
Ελλάδα υποδεικνύει η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων

Aθήνα, 31 Μαΐου 2019—Σε συνέχεια προσφυγής του ECRE (European Council on
Refugees and Exiles) και του ICJ (International Commission of Jurists), με τη
συνδρομή του Ελληνικού Συμβουλίου για τους Πρόσφυγες (ΕΣΠ) που είχε κατατεθεί
τον Νοέμβριο του 2018, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων, το
αρμόδιο όργανο του Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης για την παρακολούθηση της
συμμόρφωσης των εθνικών αρχών με τις υποχρεώσεις τους σύμφωνα με τον
Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινωνικό Χάρτη, με την από 29-5-2019 απόφασή της, υπέδειξε στις
ελληνικές αρχές την άμεση απομάκρυνση των αλλοδαπών παιδιών, συνοδευόμενων
και ασυνόδευτων, από τα κρατητήρια, τα προαναχωρησιακά κέντρα και τα Κέντρα
Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης, τον διορισμό επιτρόπου και την αποτελεσματική
λειτουργία του συστήματος επιτροπείας.
Μεταξύ άλλων, η προσφυγή αναφερόταν στις σημαντικές παραβιάσεις των
δικαιωμάτων των παιδιών στα νησιά του Βορειανατολικού Αιγαίου εξαιτίας της
εφαρμογής της Κοινής Δήλωσης ΕΕ-Τουρκίας, της επιβολής του μέτρου του
γεωγραφικού περιορισμού και του εγκλωβισμού χιλιάδων παιδιών -ασυνόδευτων
και συνοδευόμενων- στις απολύτως ακατάλληλες εγκαταστάσεις των Κέντρων
Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης, καθώς επίσης και στη απουσία αποτελεσματικής
προστασίας των ασυνόδευτων παιδιών στο σύνολο της χώρας.
Με την προχθεσινή της Απόφαση, η Επιτροπή έκανε δεκτό το αίτημα «άμεσων
μέτρων» που είχαν υποβάλλει οι προσφεύγουσες οργανώσεις, και ζητά από τις
ελληνικές αρχές τη λήψη κάθε δυνατού μέτρου για την προστασία των παιδιών στα
ελληνικά νησιά και των ασυνόδευτων παιδιών σε όλη τη χώρα, τα οποία όπως
σημειώνει η Επιτροπή «προφανώς βρίσκονται σε κίνδυνο σοβαρής και
ανεπανόρθωτης βλάβης της ζωής τους». ¹

Μεταξύ των μέτρων που η Επιτροπή υποδεικνύει ως αναγκαία να υιοθετηθούν από
τις ελληνικές αρχές, περιλαμβάνονται:
– η άμεση απομάκρυνση όλων των ασυνόδευτων παιδιών από τα αστυνομικά
κρατητήρια, τα προαναχωρησιακά κέντρα κράτησης και τα Κέντρα Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης και η παροχή σε αυτά πρόσβασης σε κατάλληλες για την
ηλικία τους δομές φιλοξενίας.
– ο διορισμός επιτρόπου σε κάθε ασυνόδευτο ανήλικο και η διασφάλιση της
αποτελεσματικής λειτουργίας του συστήματος επιτροπείας και
– η διασφάλιση της πρόσβασης όλων των αλλοδαπών παιδιών,
συνοδευόμενων και ασυνόδευτων, σε τρόφιμα, νερό, εκπαίδευση και
κατάλληλη στέγη.
Η απόφαση της Επιτροπής να υποδείξει «άμεσα μέτρα» στις ελληνικές αρχές,
αποτελεί ένα σημαντικό βήμα ως προς την διασφάλιση ενός αποτελεσματικού
συστήματος παιδικής προστασίας στη χώρα, θέτοντας την υλοποίηση
συγκεκριμένων υποχρεώσεων των ελληνικών αρχών έναντι των παιδιών
προσφύγων και μεταναστών υπό την παρακολούθηση των οργάνων του
Συμβουλίου της Ευρώπης.
Το Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες καλεί τις ελληνικές αρχές να
συμμορφωθούν άμεσα και χωρίς καθυστέρηση στην υλοποίηση της απόφασης της
Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων, λαμβάνοντας όλα τα αναγκαία
μέτρα όπως αυτά υπεδείχθησαν από την Επιτροπή και διασφαλίζοντας ότι τα
παιδιά πρόσφυγες και μετανάστες στην Ελλάδα έχουν πρόσβαση στα θεμελιώδη
δικαιώματα τους.
—————————————————————————————————————–

Ολόκληρη η Απόφαση της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων,
Απόφαση επί του Παραδεκτού και επί του Αιτήματος Άμεσων Μέτρων, Διεθνής
Επιτροπή Νομικών (ICJ) και Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες και τους
Εξόριστους (ECRE) κατά Ελλάδας, Προσφυγή No. 173/2018 (διαθέσιμη στα αγγλικά
και στα γαλλικά)
Ολόκληρη η Προσφυγή, No. 173/2018 International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and
European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2018 (στα
αγγλικά)

Απόσπασμα της Απόφασης επί του Παραδεκτού και επί του Αιτήματος Άμεσων
Μέτρων, Διεθνής Επιτροπή Νομικών (ICJ) και Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο για τους
Πρόσφυγες και τους Εξόριστους (ECRE) κατά Ελλάδας, Προσφυγή No. 173/2018

————————————-
Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων

Απόφαση επι του Παραδεκτού και
επι του Αιτήματος Άμεσων Μέτρων

Διεθνής Επιτροπή Νομικών (ICJ) και Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες και τους Εξόριστους (ECRE) κατά Ελλάδας
Προσφυγή No. 173/2018

[…]
Σε ό,τι αφορά τα αιτούμενα άμεσα μέτρα
12. Η Επιτροπή υπογραμμίζει των εξαιρετικό χαρακτήρα των άμεσων μέτρων. Η
υιοθέτηση των εν λόγω μέτρων πρέπει να καθίσταται «αναγκαία προς το σκοπό της
αποφυγής κινδύνου σοβαρής και ανεπανόρθωτης βλάβης και διασφάλισης του
αποτελεσματικού σεβασμού των δικαιωμάτων που αναγνωρίζει ο Ευρωπαϊκός
Κοινωνικός Χάρτης. […]
13. Κάθε αίτημα για άμεσα μέτρα πρέπει να καταδεικνύει μια συγκεκριμένη
κατάσταση [εξαιτίας της] οποία[ς] τα πρόσωπα που αφορά η προσφυγή βρίσκονται
σε κίνδυνο σοβαρής και ανεπανόρθωτης βλάβης […]
14. Η Επιτροπή σημειώνει ότι σύμφωνα με τις προσφεύγουσες οργανώσεις εξαιτίας
της απουσίας στέγασης σε συνδυασμό με την τοποθέτηση σε υπερπλήρεις
εγκαταστάσεις και/ή σε κράτηση, τα παιδιά μετανάστες στερούνται προστατευτικού
πλαισίου στην Ελλάδα και ως αποτέλεσμα υπόκεινται σε συνθήκες που είναι κάτω
από τα πρότυπα και επιβλαβείς. Η παροχή βασικής φροντίδας, και ειδικότερα
στέγης, φαγητού, νερού, ηλεκτρικού ρεύματος, θέρμανσης και ιατρικής περίθαλψης
αναφέρονται από διεθνή και εθνικά όργανα ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και
οργανώσεις της κοινωνίας των πολιτών, ως ανεπαρκή. Η απουσία τέτοιων
εγκαταστάσεων έχει σοβαρές επιπτώσεις στην υγιεινή, στην καθαριότητα και στην
ουσιαστική παροχή υπηρεσιών σωματικής και ψυχικής υγείας,
συμπεριλαμβανομένης της κλινικής ή της προληπτικής φροντίδας. Περιστατικά
παιδιών που υποφέρουν από επαναλαμβανόμενες εξάρσεις του ίδιου ιατρικού ή
ψυχικού προβλήματος δείχνουν ότι οι συνθήκες διαβίωσης είναι ένας ξεκάθαρα
επιβαρυντικός και μάλλον πιθανώς γενεσιουργός παράγοντας των συγκεκριμένων
ασθενειών […] Επιπροσθέτως, επείγουσα ανησυχία σχετικά με την παιδική
προστασία εγείρεται στις περιπτώσεις τοποθέτησης σε ακατάλληλες και
συνωστισμένες δομές, όπου πρόσωπα χωρίς διαχωρισμό φύλου και άσχετοι
ενήλικες επίσης διαμένουν. Αναφορές σεξουαλικής κακοποίησης, βίαιων
επιθέσεων, παρενοχλήσεων και ταπείνωσης στα camps των ελληνικών νησιών δείχνουν τις επιπτώσεις των συνθηκών διαβίωσης στην ασφάλεια και την
προστασία των παιδιών).
15. Η Κυβέρνηση θεωρεί το αίτημα των οργανώσεων για άμεσα μέτρα αβάσιμο
αλλά αποτυγχάνει να απαντήσει στις σοβαρές ανησυχίες σχετικά με την βαρύτητα
και το επείγον της κατάστασης όπως αυτό προκύπτει από την προσφυγή.
16. Υπό το πρίσμα του Άρθρου 36, η Επιτροπή θεωρεί ότι η ζωή των παιδιών
μεταναστών των οποίων τα δικαιώματα αποτελούν το αντικείμενο της προσφυγής,
προφανώς είναι σε κίνδυνο σοβαρής ανεπανόρθωτης βλάβης .
17. Υπό αυτές τις περιστάσεις, η Επιτροπή θεωρεί αναγκαίο να υποδείξει άμεσα
μέτρα.
ΑΠΟΦΑΣΊΖΕΙ ΜΕ 13 ΨΉΦΟΥΣ ΚΑΤΆ 1, ΌΤΙ ΕΊΝΑΙ ΑΝΑΓΚΑΊΟ ΝΑ ΥΠΟΔΕΊΞΕΙ ΣΤΗΝ ΚΥΒΈΡΝΗΣΗ ΆΜΕΣΑ ΜΈΤΡΑ ΤΑ ΟΠΟΊΑ ΠΡΈΠΕΙ ΝΑ ΥΙΟΘΕΤΗΘΟΎΝ ΌΠΩΣ ΠΑΡΑΚΆΤΩ:
– Να υιοθετηθούν όλα τα δυνατά μέτρα προς το σκοπό της αποφυγής της
σοβαρής και ανεπανόρθωτης βλάβης της ακεραιότητας των αλλοδαπών
παιδιών των οποίων η ζωή και η φυσική και ηθική ακεραιότητα βρίσκεται σε
άμεσο κίνδυνο και συγκεκριμένα:
– να διασφαλίσουν τον διορισμό Επιτρόπου από τη στιγμή που ένα χωρισμένο
ή ασυνόδευτο παιδί εντοπίζεται καθώς επίσης και την αποτελεσματική
λειτουργία του συστήματος επιτροπείας
– να διασφαλίσουν τη χρήση εναλλακτικών της κράτησης των αλλοδαπών
παιδιών και ιδίως να διασφαλίσουν ότι τα ασυνόδευτα παιδιά [που
παραμένουν] σε αστυνομικά τμήματα, προαναχωρησιακά κέντρα και Κέντρα
Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης, έχουν άμεση πρόσβαση σε δομές κατάλληλες
για την ηλικία τους
– να διασφαλίσουν την πρόσβαση σε τρόφιμα, νερό, εκπαίδευση και
κατάλληλη στέγη
– να διασφαλίσουν την πρόσβαση σε υγειονομική περίθαλψη και ιατρική
βοήθεια, ιδίως διασφαλίζοντας την παρουσία επαρκούς αριθμού
επαγγελματιών υγείας για την κάλυψη των αναγκών των παιδιών των
οποίων τα δικαιώματα αποτελούν το αντικείμενο της εν λόγω προσφυγής
Και
– Να διασφαλίσουν ότι η Απόφαση αυτή θα γνωστοποιηθεί στις αρμόδιες
αρχές.

¹ Decision of the European Committee of Social Rights on the admissibility and immediate measures in the case International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 173/2018, § 16, «In light of Rule 36, the Committee considers that the migrant minors whose rights are the subject of the complaint, evidently are at risk of serious irreparable harm to their lives»

 

Για περισσότερες πληροφορίες επικοινωνήστε με:
Δανάη Λειβαδά
Υπεύθυνη επικοινωνίας
Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες
Σολωμού 25, Τ.Κ. 10682, Αθήνα
Τηλ.: +30 210-3800990
Ε-mail: d.leivada@gcr.gr