Health is a fundamental right Immediate access to the vaccination process for undocumented people

Wednesday 23 June 2021

To: Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Vassilis Kontozamanis,
Secretary-General of Primary Health Care, Mr Marios Themistokleous Chairman of the National Vaccination Committee, Ms Maria Theodoridou

Throughout the last year and a half, the Covid19 pandemic has affected widely the everyday life of people all over the world, resulting in the mandatory adaptation of all of us to this new reality. Currently, the vaccination process of the general population is the most important tool we possess in order to deal with the pandemic and constitutes the main way out of the health crisis. All of us must have access to this essential tool regardless of identity, race, ethnicity. Regardless of origin and legal status.

The health crisis has affected us all indiscriminately, however, it has mainly affected the most vulnerable groups, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and most importantly, people without legal documents. The latter is the most vulnerable group of people, as they do not have the ability to register online for the process of vaccination and so far there is no provision for their vaccination. This situation constitutes an urgent need of finding a solution for this vulnerable group since the issue of public health concerns us all in the context of the protection and the preservation of human life.

PRESS RELEASE Career counselling for unaccompanied minors aiming at their social integration in Thessaloniki

Career counselling, human rights training and development of skills aiming at a smooth social integration of unaccompanied minors that live in Thessaloniki, in reception facilities of ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, was the object of the project  “Human Rights Awareness and Skills Development for Unaccompanied Minors” (UAMs).

In this project that started in October 2019 and will finish at the end of June, participated more than 150 unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Palestine, Egypt, Bangladesh, Congo, Gambia, Iraq, Iran, Guinea, Cameroon, Kuwait, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Yemen, as well as stateless minors.

Greece deems Turkey “safe”, but refugees are not: The substantive examination of asylum applications is the only safe solution for refugees

With a new Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) issued on 7 June, the Greek State designates Turkey as a “safe third country” for families, men, women and children of five nationalities seeking international protection in Greece. It is noted that the JMD applies even to those from countries with high recognition rates for international protection, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. This decision reinforces the policy established by the March 2016 EU-Turkey Statement that shifts the responsibility to protect refugees, including unaccompanied children, arriving in Europe to third countries. 

Online Event – DIAPLOUS Project

In covering the need for safe accommodation for the vulnerable asylum seekers in North Greece, the Project “DIAPLOUS” assists by offering in total 79 places to unaccompanied minors and women- single mothers and/or victims of sexual or gender violence, who are asylum seekers in Greece and are homeless or live in a dangerous condition. 

In particular, “DIAPLOUS” Programme concerns unaccompanied minors, who lived in Safe Zones and are accommodated in the apartments of the Project (48 places), asylum seeker children from 5 to 18 years old who live in the Shelter “The House of ARSIS” (15 places) and vulnerable asylum seeker women- who are alone or with their children (16 places).

The 20-month Programme offers psychological, psychosocial, legal and vocational support, through individual and group counselling sessions, in order for the vulnerable asylum seekers to live in conditions that will help them with their inclusion in the Greek reality. 

The presentation of the project is scheduled for Thursday, April, 22nd on an online event that will begin at 11 am. 

Anyone interested can attend the event through the link:

For more information: Thalia Siopi, Project Manager of “DIAPLOUS” Programme, contact details: 6982489570/

The project DIAPLOUS is being implemented under the “Asylum and Migration” programme of the EEA Grants Greece, by ARSIS Association for the Social Support of Youth. The “Asylum and Migration” (Addressing urgent needs for the reception and screening of asylum seekers and for the accommodation of vulnerable groups) programme in Greece, financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, was awarded a total budget of 16,5 million euros as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aspires to contribute to ensuring legal protection, support and care for the most vulnerable asylum seekers, with emphasis on unaccompanied children. The Fund Operator for the “Asylum and Migration” programme in Greece is SOL Consulting S.A in partnership with Human Rights 360.

More information:

The press release here

Joint statement by 56 civil society organisations regarding the National Recovery Plan

On March 23rd 2021, 70 civil society organisations sent an open letter to the Deputy Minister of Finance, Mr Skylakakis, expressing our concern about the lack of transparency and limited opportunities to participate in the drafting of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The letter was also copied to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, and the European Commission Recovery and Resilience Task Force (RECOVER). So far, the government has not responded.