Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Removals to Greece suspended


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The Government has confirmed that removals to Greece under the Dublin II Regulation have been suspended pending the outcome of the test case. This comes following a number of recent news items on the calamity that is the Greek asylum ‘system’. Or, in the words of UNHCR themselves, ‘humanitarian crisis’. This extract from a recent Human Rights Watch report gives a flavour of the problem:

The country has one of the lowest rates of granting refugee status for asylum seekers in Europe. In 2009, it granted refugee status to a mere 0.04 percent of applicants at first instance – 11 people out of almost 30,000 applicants. It also abolished the appeals mechanism in July 2009, leaving rejected asylum seekers with no way to challenge a negative decision, and leading UNHCR to suspend its formal role in the asylum procedure.

Filing an asylum application is very difficult, and interviews are typically conducted in a cursory manner, often without a qualified interpreter and by untrained police officials. In addition, the country provides almost no accommodations or other assistance for asylum seekers, with most in destitution and living in the streets.

Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.

Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.

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The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.