srdefenders.org | 22 June 2022
PRESS RELEASE – Greece: Migration policy having “suffocating effect” on human rights defenders says UN expert
Greek authorities must move towards a policy on migration that puts human rights and support for human rights defenders at its core, a UN expert said today.
“Geopolitical circumstances and a lack of support by the EU have led to questions being posed of Greece that many other States have not been asked concerning migration,” said Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, in a statement at the conclusion of a 10-day visit to the country.
“The Government’s current approach to the issue is defined by its framing of migration as a matter of security and prevention,” Lawlor said. “What this has fostered for refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and the human rights defenders acting in solidarity with them, is an atmosphere of fear – particularly a fear of criminalisation.”
Lawlor was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council to promote the implementation of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders across the globe. She visited Greece on the invitation of the Government from 13 to 22 June to assess the situation of those working to promote and protect human rights in the country.