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On the island of Lesvos, the shelter for unaccompanied foreign minors closed for lack of funds. By cons, a detention center, including a part  for first reception and identification and a part for retention before the expulsion, was built and opened by European funding. Minors are locked until a place in a reception center for minors elsewhere in Greece is available. One of them, aged 17, self-injured in protest against his imprisonment.

Here the press release of Welcome to Europe and the Village of all together (Lesvos):

Press Release: Unaccompanied minor severely self-injured himself in Moria “first reception” detention centre in Lesvos
PRESS RELEASE 21.07.14 Lesvos

On 17/7/2014 a 17-year-old Afghan who had been detained for many days in Moria awaiting his transfer to a special reception centre for minors cut his arms in an act of despair and protest as he could not stand anymore being closed up for many days and under such conditions. He was transferred to the psychiatry department of the local hospital.

In Greece there are 10 reception centres for unaccompanied minors with about 330 places in total that need to cover the needs of thousands. At the same time that a vast number of reception places are lacking many minors fear long detention upon arrival in Greece in so called First Reception Camps (detention centres) if they register with their real age and register themselves as adults. The background: Unaccompanied minors arriving in first reception centres have to undergo a number of medical examinations and then wait for a place in one of the overcrowded reception centres in order to be released. The detention duration varies and can reach one month or more months, while delays depend on the crowdedness in the reception facilities.

As a consequence hundreds of unaccompanied minors register as adults. They are being transferred to Pre-removal Detention Centres at the mainland, such as Amigdaleza, Corinth, Komotini, Xanthi, Fylakio or Drama / Parenesti where legal aid is not existing. When they realise that they end up facing 18 months detention or more due to their changed age all of them try to find ways to proof that they are minors.

Anyhow, if age-assesment has taken place already in First Reception Detention it is unlikely if not impossible (without the help of a
lawyer) the authorities will approve a second age-assesment later. Age-assesment procedures have been recently defined in a Ministerial
Decision for First Reception but not for Pre-Removal Detention Centres. As a result the procedures vary in the different places and more than that the ways and methods carried out are highly questionable. For this reason among others many unaccompanied minors end up in 18 month detention.

We demand for the immediate creation of sufficient special reception centres for unaccompanied minors. In this frame the Reception Centre for Unaccompanied Minors in Agiassos, Lesvos, which was closed earlier this year despite the huge need should be re-opened with the necessary funding to allow for its functioning.

And we demand for the immediate release of all unaccompanied minors in first reception detention centres, pre-removal centres or any other form of detention. As provided for in the Guidelines on Policies and Procedures in dealing with Unaccompanied Children Seeking Asylum from UNHCR (1997) “(T)he child should be given the benefit of the doubt if the exact age is uncertain” and “the main guiding principle in any child care and protection action is the principle of the ‘best interest of the child’”.

Village of all together
Welcome to Europe “




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The Migreurop network publishes a report on the role of the European agency for the surveillance of external borders, Frontex, and its responsibility for the violations of human rights that take place at the greek – Turkish border.

To read the press release from Migreurop.

To download the report Frontex between Greece and Turkey: the border of denial“.





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Border Monitoring has just published a new report on the situation in Bulgaria asylum seekers and refugees “Trapped in the European quagmire: situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria”. It addresses the issue of violence and rejection at the border, overcrowded camps and people left homeless, integration, racist attacks, the asylum procedure, restrictions on freedom of movement in Europe before making recommendations.

You can download the report (in English) here.





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Negotiations of the EU with neighboring countries are not on an equal footing, or in a spirit of cooperation around objectives commonly defined. Those with Turkey are no exception.

Turkey made for many years the choice to facilitate access to its territory for a short stay: Nationals of most countries of the world can come here without a visa. The European Union wants to make Turkey a buffer state slowing the arrival on its soil of “migrants”, mainly potential refugees. The currency exchange is the possibility for Turkish nationals to enter the European territory being exempt from short-stay visa. To achieve this, Turkey must submit at roadmap asking a series of conditions: the readmission of its own citizens and citizens of other countries who have transited through its territory if they are expelled from the European Union; the security of identity documents; border surveillance; visa policy; legislation on asylum; policy vis-à-vis irregular immigration; measures regarding security and judicial cooperation; and final conditions for fundamental rights (in terms of minority rights in question the rights of Roma in Turkey – and we would like them to be respected in the European Union – but not rights of Kurds, who are not mentioned).

You can download the roadmap here (in English).





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The Pagani detention center on the island of Lesbos, one of the most unworthy of Greece, was closed in 2009 after a long struggle inside and outside the center and numerous reports about the conditions there.

A reception and identification center opened near the village of Moria last autumn. Those arrested remain there a short time. A detention center - pre-removal center in Greek terminology - has just been built beside it, financed at 75% by the European Union. People can be locked up to eighteen months pending deportation - the time may be extended beyond 18 months following a recent decree.

To follow the situation in Lesvos:





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Greek detention centers are usually discussed in terms of human rights violations and reception conditions unworthy. A study of the detention center Amygdaleza focuses on economic efficiency. It puts next investment expenditure and operating with equipment that does not meet the minimum standards set by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture of the United Nations, or the first two years of operation of the center, only 27.9% are returned to their country, 28.5% do not have to be there because they have sought asylum and can not be returned, and 48.6% are not returned.

The report (in English) can be downloaded here.





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The function of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) is to monitor compliance with the law of the EU. His judgments are jurisprudence on the interpretation of the right of EU and therefore broader than the country directly affected by the case that was brought before it scope - here Bulgaria.

A Sudanese national was arrested in Bulgaria because he had no identity document and placed in detention for deportation. The tribunal decided at the request of authorities extend detention on the grounds that this person does not have an identity document, he might be hiding and prevented his deportation. The ECJ held that this decision was contrary to the “return” directive 2008: the fact not to have an identity document is not in itself a valid reason to extend the detention of a person.

The ECJ ruling is available here (in French):;jsessionid=9ea7d2dc30d5687cbd8f276f439c96d5802246cd9ed3.e34KaxiLc3qMb40Rch0SaxuNbxr0?text=&docid=153314&pageIndex=0&doclang=FR&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=96640

The press release of the ECJ is available here (in English):





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In the follow-up to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights MSS v Belgium and Greece, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe noted that Greece still does not meet the European standards of asylum procedure and detention of asylum seekers and migrants, and concludes that must continue to be vigilant and monitor the situation. This decision of the ECHR had played an important role in stopping deportations of asylum seekers to Greece under the Dublin Regulation III (Dublin II at the time).





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Cyprus places non-EU foreigners and particularly refugees in a particularly precarious situation. Access to nationality, labor market and other rights is indeed hampered for persons granted refugee status, and this can last for years.

Refugees are currently on hunger strike and thirst to request either the Cypriot government to grant them nationality or UNHCR to resettle in another country.

A petition of support can be signed here:





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An article describing the conditions in the detention center of Corinth, where part of the detainees are on hunger strike against the extension of their detention for an indefinite period, which shows also the stakes of a detention system increasingly akin to a concentration camp system.

French on the website Okeanews:




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