Special reception needs of vulnerable groups

Greece

Author

Greek Council for Refugees

Article 17 PD 220/2007 provides that “while applying the provisions… on reception conditions, the competent authorities and local administrations shall take care to provide special treatment to applicants belonging to vulnerable groups such as minors, in particular unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence”. More specific provisions foreseen the framework for minors, unaccompanied minors and victims of torture.1

Moreover, under the Reception and Identification Procedure upon arrival, the Head of the RIC “shall refer persons belonging to vulnerable groups to the competent social support and protection institution.”2

In October 2016, MSF issued a report referring to “the gaps within the current system that mean [that] vulnerable people are firstly not properly identified and secondly do not receive appropriate protection and care”. Poor reception conditions in temporary accommodation camps became even “worse for those with special needs or who require enhanced protection (e.g. unaccompanied children, survivors of sexual violence, pregnant women, and patients with chronic diseases who require specific services).”3

As mentioned in Types of Accommodation, the limited capacity of reception centres under the National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA) prevents vulnerable persons from the enjoyment of reception or special reception conditions, even if their vulnerability has been identified and despite the fact that requests for their placement are prioritised.

Since July 2016, persons belonging to vulnerable groups can also be accommodated under the UNHCR accommodation scheme.4

 

Reception of unaccompanied children

As mentioned in Types of Accommodation, the EKKA network includes 813 places in 28 long-term shelters for unaccompanied children and 499 places in 22 short-term (“transit”) shelters for unaccompanied children.

The number of unaccompanied children on a waiting list for shelter and thus deprived of reception conditions is indicative of the shortcomings of the reception system. As of 13 January 2017, the number of unaccompanied children accommodated in long-term and transit shelters was 1,312, while 1,301 unaccompanied children were waiting for a place.5 Out of the unaccompanied children on the waitlist, 277 were in closed reception facilities (RIC) and 18 detained in police stations under “protective custody” (see Detention of Vulnerable Applicants).

Due to the lack of appropriate places, a number of unaccompanied children also remain in temporary accommodation facilities under substandard conditions, as recently reported in Schisto for example.6

Reception places for unaccompanied minors are located in the following areas:
































Long-term shelters for unaccompanied children in the EKKA network

Organisation / centre

Location

Capacity

Target group

Target age

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Athens

24

Boys

10-15

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Athens

24

Boys

up to 18

Medical Intervention (Bodossaki Foundation)

Athens

18

Boys

up to 16

PRAKSIS Tositsa (UNHCR)

Athens

40

Boys

8-18

Doctors of the World (IOM)

Athens

100

Boys

10-16

Save the Children (EKKA)

Athens

32

Boys

10-18

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Athens

22

Boys

8-18

Nostos (UNHCR)

Athens

20

Boys

13-17

PRAKSIS Ilion 1 (UNHCR)

Athens

30

Girls

0-18

PRAKSIS Ilion 2 (EPIM, Niarchos & Bodossaki)

Athens

10

Girls

up to 18

SOS Villages (UNICEF)

Athens

25

Boys

14-18

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Athens

24

Boys

8-18

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Athens

26

Boys

8-18

Youth and Lifelong Learning

Athens

10

Girls

15-18

PRAKSIS Stegi Plus

Athens

30

Boys

5-18

SMA

Athens

17

Boys

12-18

PRAKSIS Stegi Pi

Athens

24

Boys

8-18

Apostoli

Athens

20

Boys

12-18

Mellon

Athens

60

Boys and girls

5-18

Arsis

Thessaloniki

30

Boys

12-18

SOS Villages

Thessaloniki

30

Boys

12-18

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Thessaloniki

30

Boys

0-18

SOS Villages

Serres

9

Girls and boys

-

Arsis

Alexandroupoli

25

Boys and girls

5-12

Arsis

Volos

30

Boys

12-18

Hellenic Red Cross

Volos

48

Boys

12-18

PRAKSIS Stegi Plus

Patra

30

Boys

5-18

Youth and Lifelong Learning

Crete

25

Boys

12-18

Total

 

813

 

 

Source: EKKA, Information provided to GCR, 13 January 2017.

 


























Short-term (“transit”) shelters for unaccompanied children in the EKKA network

Organisation / centre

Location

Capacity

Target group

Target age

Metadrasi

Athens

14

Boys and girls

under 14

Arsis (UNHCR)

Athens

30

Boys

14-18

Faros (UNHCR)

Athens

20

Boys

12-16

Arsis (UNHCR)

Thessaloniki

50

Boys

14-18

Arsis (UNHCR)

Alexandroupoli

25

Boys and girls

Up to 12 boys and 18 girls

PRAKSIS Stegi Plus (+)

Patra

8

Boys

5-18

Iliaktida (UNICEF)

Lesvos

16

Boys

12-18

Iliaktida (UNHCR)

Lesvos

30

Boys

12-18

Iliaktida (UNHCR)

Lesvos

26

Boys

12-18

Iliaktida (UNHCR)

Lesvos

30

Boys

12-18

Metadrasi

Lesvos

24

Boys and girl

under 15

Iliaktida (UNHCR)

Lesvos

10

Boys

12-18

Iliaktida Girls (UNHCR)

Lesvos

8

Girls

0-18

Iliaktida Alysida (UNHCR)

Lesvos

18

Boys

12-18

Iliaktida Loutra (UNHCR)

Lesvos

8

Boys

13-18

PRAKSIS

Lesvos

22

Boys

0-18

PRAKSIS

Samos

25

Boys

0-18

Metadrasi (UNHCR)

Samos

18

Boys and girls

0-18

Kivotos

Chios

25

Boys and girls

0-11

Metadrasi

Chios

20

Boys and girls

under 15

SCI (UNHCR)

Kos

40

Boys and girls

0-18

PRAKSIS (UNHCR)

Kos

32

Boys and girls

0-18

Total

 

499

 

 

Source: EKKA, Information provided to GCR, 13 January 2017.

 

Reception of persons with disabilities

In January 2017, Human Rights Watch published a report on the reception of asylum seekers with disabilities, documenting deficiencies in their identification and provision of adequate accommodation. Many of the temporary accommodation centres, particularly sanitary facilities, are unsuitable for people using wheelchairs. The report refers to testimonies from asylum seekers using wheelchairs who could not access showers in Elliniko, Oreokastro or Cherso.7

  • 1. Article 18-10 PD 220/2007.
  • 2. Article 14(8) L 4375/2016.
  • 3. MSF, Greece in 2016: Vulnerable People Left Behind, 20 October 2016, available at: http://bit.ly/2kPfBG1.
  • 4. Recital 11 Commission Recommendation C(2016) 8525,, 8 December 2016.
  • 5. EKKA, Situation Update: Unaccompanied Children (UAC) in Greece, 13 January 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2moc51t.
  • 6. Network for Children’s Rights, Conditions in refugee camps: The case of Schisto, January 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2l39lFH.
  • 7. Human Rights Watch, Greece: Refugees with disabilities overlooked, undeserved, 18 January 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/2lyJxDo.

About AIDA

The Asylum Information Database (AIDA) is a database managed by the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), containing information on asylum procedures, reception conditions, detenti