18 June 2021

Legal Policy Note: Refugees in Legal Limbo

Another overlooked casualty of externalising Asylum at any Cost

Thousands of Syrian nationals are trapped between the EU and Turkey. Their asylum applications in Greece are rejected, not because they do not qualify for asylum but because they are expected to seek asylum in Turkey instead. However, after the crisis at the Greek-Turkish borders in Evros in early March 2020, Turkey has not allowed the readmission of any applicants from Greece. As a result of the EU’s externalization policy, these refugees remain in Greece in a situation of limbo, even though they qualify for asylum. They are often imprisoned in immigration detention centres for prolonged periods, homeless, without access to the reception system and without any prospects of seeing their situation improving. Following a new Ministerial Decision published on 7 June, the same fate now awaits asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Read HIAS' and our full Legal Policy Note here.

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