Access to NGOs and UNHCR


Country Report: Access to NGOs and UNHCR Last updated: 10/06/21


Greek Council for Refugees Visit Website

Access of NGOs to Reception and Identification Centres, camps on the mainland and pre-removal detention facilities is subject to prior permission by the competent authorities. UNHCR is present in Athens, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Leros, Kalymnos, Rhodes, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Larissa and Kavala, covering through physical presence, field missions and ad hoc visits all sites in their area of responsibility.[1]  UNHCR’s teams present in the Aegean islands and the land border in Evros continue to assist new arrivals by helping them gain access to necessary services, and by providing them with information on procedures, rights and obligations. They also ensure that people with specific needs, who require special assistance, are being identified as such by the authorities.

During 2020, 2,300 vulnerable homeless and vulnerable children have received psychological support, legal aid and cultural mediation by UNHCR[2].

Access of asylum seekers to NGOs and other actors depends on the situation prevailing on each site, for instance overcrowding, in conjunction with the availability of human resources. Amid the fire that destroyed the hotspot of ‘Moria’ in September of 2020, almost 8,000 people were transferred to the temporary camp that was located just a few metres from the sea. Apart from inadequate access to shelter, limited healthcare facilities and hardly any running water, the residents of the ‘new camp’ had no access to legal aid, based on joint reports of the Greek Council for Refugees and Oxfam.[3]



[1]  UNHCR, About UNHCR in Greece, available at: 

[2]  UNHCR Greece Factsheet December 2020:

[3] Conditions in ‘Moria 2.0 camp are abysmal, say GCR and Oxfam, Athens, 21/10/2020, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation