Pushbacks, homelessness and human rights abuses. Greece during Covid-19
The first year of the Covid-19 pandemic saw a steady erosion of basic human rights for asylum seekers and people with refugee status in Greece.
This included an escalation in pushbacks, rising homelessness, the reduction of resources and support, an increase in domestic abuse, spiralling mental health problems, the curtailment of movement and a further worsening of camp and detention conditions.
In this report, the Greek Government’s actions in relation to the aforementioned issues are assessed, with reference to relevant international standards.
The research conducted and gathered by all report partners during this time underlines the wide-ranging gross human rights abuses unfolding on Greek soil, and indicates that these violations are intrinsically connected with Greek and European migration and asylum policies.
A consistent theme is that the principle of universality as contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is under severe threat. Asylum seekers and people with refugee status are facing grave violations of their human rights.From the start of 2015 until the 16th of March 2021 there were a total of 1,649 deaths in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to IOM data.
Yet despite concerns raised by Amnesty International (AI) that increased militarisation at the northern border pushes people to more dangerous routes2, the Evros fence was reportedly to be expanded a further 27 kilometres by April 2021,3 along with cameras and radars able to see 15km into Turkish territory.