Greece must ensure safety net and integration opportunities for refugees – UNHCR

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Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Greece must ensure safety net and integration opportunities for refugees – UNHCR

Author: UNHCR | unhcr.org | 2 June 2020

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply concerned over government-arranged exit of some 9,000 recognized refugees from Greece’s reception system which began yesterday (1 June). In the coming months another 11,000 refugees will have to transit from assistance for asylum seekers to general social welfare, once recognized as refugees by Greece’s asylum authorities.

A new law adopted in March 2020 reduces the grace period for recognized refugees from six months to 30 days to make a transition from organized accommodation and basic support to an independent living.

The objective to make more resources and space available for asylum-seekers is well-understood, Greece’s reception system is facing a shortage of places. Recognized refugees need to vacate much needed accommodation for asylum seekers waiting in crowded reception facilities on the Greek Aegean islands. Over 31,000 women, men, and children live in five island reception centres with capacity for fewer than 6,000.

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