Joint Action for the creation of an initiative of organisations in relation to push-backs

Over the last years, the undersigned organisations have been receiving allegations of push-backs at the country’s land and sea borders. This practice seems to have now acquired systematic characteristics and constitutes an official state policy aiming at the prevention of refugee and migrant flows.

Although not a new phenomenon, this policy of land and sea push-backs has, however, escalated in an unprecedented fashion over the last year, both in terms of frequency of incidents and of the means employed. Dozens of complaints, substantiated by evidence (videos, testimonies and photos), have been recorded. 

ANNOUNCEMENT Illegal pushbacks, Lives at risk, NGOs under prosecution: Investigations on pushbacks at the EU level, targeting of those highlighting them in Greece

In the past year, we have become witnesses of an escalation in the number of reported refugee and migrant pushbacks from the Greek borders (land and sea) to Turkey[1], in the context of the broader harshening of the European Union’s political stance vis a vis the management of the Refugee Issue, since the EU-Turkey Statement was adopted[2]. Without undergoing registration, without access to the asylum procedure or any other legal procedure, men, women and children who have just entered and/or are already in the country seeking protection are summarily, violently and indiscriminately returned to Turkey, in violation of any notion of national, European and international law.



The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis

The Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of the Hellenic Republic, Niki Kerameus

The President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel

The European Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, Didier Reynders

Athens, March 9, 2021 – The undersigned organisations express deep concern about the situation relating to asylum seeking and refugee children’s access to education in Greece over the past few years. Specifically, for the past six years it has not been possible to guarantee smooth and unimpeded access to education for asylum seeking children. As a result, the majority of these children have been deprived of one of their fundamental rights. These issues have become so intense over the last year that one can in fact refer to an extensive process of “deschooling”. 

Refugees in Greece: risk of homelessness and destitution for thousands during winter.

As winter closes in, thousands of refugees in Greece still face homelessness and destitution. While winter always poses a challenge, this year is likely to become one of the most challenging yet due to the ongoing pandemic, a deliberate decrease in the length of support for refugees, and the lack of a comprehensive integration strategy and strategy against homelessness from authorities.

Press Release – DIAPLOUS for vulnerable women and children

Diaplous means safely crossing a sea area and four women with their three babies from North and Sub-Saharan Africa are the first to have already settled in the apartments, for vulnerable women, which started operating in Thessaloniki by ARSIS – Social Youth Support Organization, under the program “Diaplous”.

The program refers to vulnerable women, single mothers, victims of sexual or gender-based violence, who have sought asylum and are living in homelessness or precarious conditions.