29 January 2020

Joint press release: Take in unaccompanied minors from Greece!

The German Bundestag will debate today whether unaccompanied minors should be accepted as refugees from Greece.

More than 5000 are staying there under terrible conditions. At the same time, an answer to a written question by MEP Gökay Akbulut is becoming public: Germany rejects 3/4 of all applications for family reunification from Greece. Many of them concern precisely these minors. Many are illegal. Equal Rights Beyond Borders wins almost 80 percent of the court cases against the rejections.
The Lower Saxony Refugee Council, B-UMF, and Equal Rights therefore call on the federal government to finally end the blockade on family reunification. And the members of parliament to send a signal so that minors can finally escape the catastrophic conditions.

The complete press release can be found here.

Two recent case studies

Almost as if to confirm the sad findings, the European Court of Human Rights has once again recognised the disastrous situation of minors in Greece in two decisions and ordered that it should go without saying.
A twelve-year-old had tried to apply to the Greek asylum authorities - and was given a deadline in March. As long as he is not registered as an asylum seeker, however, he cannot be accommodated accordingly. The Court ordered that a guardian be immediately accommodated and appointed.
Already in December, it had been ordered that a boy living on the street should be placed in humane accommodation. The police took him into protective custody. The conditions there were terrible. So horrible that he attempted suicide. A higher representative of the Greek administration considered "such attempts" to be normal "in adolescents" who were "full of anger". After filing a complaint for non-compliance with the court order, the Court made its position extremely clear. The boy is accommodated - for the time being.
Both decisions can be found below. Both decisions show how devastating the situation is.
As a non-governmental organisation we are dependent on donations. In order to guarantee the rights of unaccompanied minor refugees in the two cases, many hours of work were necessary. We would be happy to receive any support. And we guarantee that we will use every cent consistently to strengthen the rights of those seeking protection.

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Equal Rights Beyond Borders consists of two seperately registered entities in Greece and Germany.

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