Access to detention facilities


Country Report: Access to detention facilities Last updated: 10/07/24


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According to the law, UNHCR and organisations working on its behalf have access to detainees.[1] Family members, lawyers and NGOs also have the right to visit and communicate with detained asylum seekers. Their access may be restricted for objective reasons of safety or public order or the sound management of detention facilities, as long as it is not rendered impossible or unduly difficult.[2]

In practice, NGOs’ capacity to access detainees is limited due to human and financial resource constraints. Family members’ access is restricted due to limited visiting hours and the remote location of some detention facilities.

Another major practical barrier to asylum seekers’ communication with NGOs is that they do not have access to free phone calls. Therefore, access inter alia with NGOs is limited in case they do not have the financial means to buy a telephone card. While some detention centres (Amygdaleza, Corinth, Xanthi, Paranesti, Kos) have adopted the good practice of allowing people to use their mobile phones, others such as Tavros and all police stations prohibit the use of mobile phones.




[1] Article 51(4) Asylum Code.

[2] Article 51(5) Asylum Code.

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