On Monday 28 December 2015 a Christmas event was held for the children of the open reception center in Elaionas Athens. The event was organized by AITIMA in cooperation with the administration of the Reception Center and the Greek Basketball Players' Union.

The event was also attended by the Alternate General Secretary of the Minister of the Interior Mr. Janetos Filippakos. The children were given presents (sport shoes and balls) which were supplied by AITIMA.

After that, the children played basketball with the members of the Greek Basketball Players' Union Yannis Kalampokis, Andreas Glyniadakis and Alexandros Spyrithonidis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

AITIMA is delivering a project on MONITORING IMMIGRATION DETENTION.

 

During the first quarter of the project we visited detention areas in Attica and we investigated detainees’ cases. 

 

Our main finding is that there is significant decrease in the number of detainees and in the length of detention;  however - despite this - the detention system still presents serious problems regarding both the procedures that are applied by the competent authorities and the detention conditions.

 

Download the bulletin here

On 2 December 2015 an event was held in Oslo to discuss refugee issues, and more specifically to present the situation in Greece and the rest of Europe. 

 

The event aimed on one hand at informing the Norwegian public, and on the other at supporting AITIMA in order to offer more assistance to refugees.

 

In the event, which was organized by the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) apart from AITIMA (Spyros Rizakos), there was participation by the Norwegian authorities who deal with migration and asylum, volunteer groups such as Drapen I Havet (Drop in the Ocean) - which during the previous months sent 400 volunteers to Lesvos in order to offer help to refugees - as well as artists of migrant or refugee origin.

 

 

 

 

TO: THE PRESIDENT OF EU COMMISSION JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER
PRIME MINISTER OF GREECE ALEXIS TSIPRAS


Athens, 30 November 2015


No More Lives Lost in the Aegean Sea!


In the aftermath of the recent tragic developments and the loss of so many human lives due to the terrorist attacks, another tragedy is still unfolding in the Aegean Sea, as hundreds of people who are in need of international protection – amongst them many children – lose their lives in an effort to reach the Greek/EU territory and seek protection.

It is worth mentioning that a big number of refugees who try to reach the Greek/European territory have fled from their country because of persecution by the forces who have taken responsibility for the Paris attacks. Given that the right to life is the ultimate human right and that the protection of this right should be a priority in all circumstances, we appeal to you in order to ask you to take all the necessary measures so that the loss of life in the Aegean Sea ends.

These fatalities could have been avoided if safe access of refugees to the Greek/EU territory was available, e.g. through large-scale resettlement from third neighbouring countries to European or other counties who can receive them as well as through the provision of a safe land route to reach the Greek/EU territory.

The EU is providing very limited opportunities for people to reach Europe safely, including through direct resettlement of refugees from third countries (such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey), despite the fact that this would ensure the safe transfer of refugees to Europe without any danger and without the need to resort to smugglers.
At the same time, the fence that was built at the Greek-Turkish border prevents people entitled to international protection from accessing EU territory by land and forces them to take the dangerous sea route, which has caused a considerable number of fatalities. This happens although Greece has an obligation deriving from international,
EU and national law to ensure protection of human life and fulfillment of fundamental rights.

The UN Committee of Human Rights, in its recent recommendations to Greece, states inter alia that: "The State party is encouraged, in consultation with its international and regional partners and neighbours, allowing migrants wishing to enter its territory to have access to safe entry points, where their asylum claims can be evaluated" (http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/GRC/CCPR_C_GRC_CO_2_22220_E.docx).

 

The undersigned organizations call on the EU and the Greek Government:

  • to develop sufficient and effective resettlement programmes for refugees from third countries to the territory of European countries,
  • to develop refugee relocation programmes from Greece to other EU countries under which there will be significant increase in both the number of refugees relocated and the eligible countries of origin,
  • to offer to Greece the financial and technical support needed,
  • to remove the fence from the Greek-Turkish border and in any case to take all the necessary steps to ensure safe access to the land Greek-Turkey border for people entitled to international protection,
  • to take all the necessary steps so that the people entitled to international protection entering Greek territory are enjoying appropriate reception conditions that respect foremost human dignity.

 

 ΑΙΤΗΜΑ http://www.aitima.gr

ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth http://arsis.gr

Network for the Social Support of Immigrants and Refugees http://migrant.diktio.org

Greek Helsinki Monitor https://greekhelsinki.wordpress.com

Greek Council for Refugees http://www.gcr.gr Greek Forum of Refugees http://www.refugees.gr

PRAKSIS http://www.praksis.gr Initiative for the Detainees' Rights. http://www.tokeli.gr

 

Over the past few months, several European Council as well as Justice and Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs Council meetings have been convened to discuss and develop immediate responses and policies to address the recent increase in migrants and refugees arriving to Europe.

59 leading organisations in the fields of human rights, child rights, health and social inclusion, including UNICEF, OHCHR and the European Network of Ombudspersons for Children, expressed their concern on the lack of attention afforded to children’s rights in these policy discussions and developments.

The joint letter urges the Heads of Government and Ministers to develop and implement concrete measures towards a comprehensive and rights-based strategy ensuring effective protection for all children affected by migration, including in the upcoming meetings at European level.

To read the full letter, please click here.