AYS NEWS DIGEST 16.02.17 — Enforcement of Dublin Regulations for Greece: What does this mean?


On December 8, 2016, the EU Commission recommended that Greece begin enforcing the Dublin Regulation by March 15, 2017. This means that asylum seekers who enter another EU country through Greece can be returned to Greece. But the system is not as simple as it may seem:

  • The recommendation only applies to refugees who enter Greece illegally after the deadline of March 15, 2017 or receive international protection in Greece after that date. Whoever is currently in Greece or arrives before this deadline will not be affected by the Commission’s recommendation. This measure can be seen as an extension or the consequence to the (failing) EU-Turkey deal. Refugees who arrived in Greece after March 20, 2016 were supposed to be sent back to Turkey. In fact, this largely has not happened, because courts have ruled in several cases that Turkey is not a safe country for refugees. Greek authorities have threatened to transfer refugees from the islands to the mainland, which would mean that they could continue to Northern Europe on their own without waiting for finals decisions on their asylum applications. In order to discourage people from doing this, EU Member States now want to come back to Dublin Regulations.


Vaccinations are brought up to speed. Photo Credit: Lsvos Solidarity — Pipka

Greek authorities expedite asylum process for Pakistani refugees

Pakistani refugees will now have a division of the Regional Asylum Office in Athens working on their behalf. The unit is expected to process 30–40 applications per week. This will improve the chance to get through on Skype and make an appointment with the Asylum Service. In the past, the waiting time for a Pakistani refugee to get an appointment was around one year. Now, according to the Asylum Service, it might only be a few days. The times to call Skype for Urdu-speaking refugees are:
Monday, 15:00–16:00
Tuesday, 14:00–15:00
Wednesday, 10:00–12:00
The Skype ID to call is asylum.service.urdu

Volunteers asked to ask refugees to fill out anonymous survey detailing mistreatment

Refugees who have been abused or mistreated at any point on their journey through Turkey and Greece are encouraged to fill out a survey documenting their experiences. The questionnaires are completely anonymous and come in English and Arabic versions.

Asylum seekers registered in June-July may need to confirm the date/location of their appointment

Some appointments made in June and July have been rescheduled. Refugees should confirm the date and location of their appointment by going to this site and entering their registration number.


109 relocations have taken place between February 13 and 15, bringing the total up to 8,983. Of the 109, 26 were sent to Belgium, 40 to Ireland, and 43 to the Netherlands.

There have been 57 registrations on Lesvos today.

Over 70 jobs available for all kinds of positions

Generation 2.0, a nonprofit organization devoted to protecting the rights of socially vulnerable groups, has listed a large number of open positions in various refugee and community support fields. Check their website for more details.


Volunteer group Fresh Response seeks men’s pants!

The group has announced that they are in need of donations. Size 30–33 pants are most in demand, and the refugees have voiced a preference for jeans.



French police prevent volunteers from distributing food, issue fines

Police have fined the group “solidarité migrants Wilson” and prevented them from distributing food his morning. Volunteers were forced to vacate the area around the center and distribute tea and food elsewhere, making it impossible to give breakfast to those waiting in the queue for the “humanitarian” center. They also received two parking tickets of €135 each, despite parking in a place where they normally go “in accordance with police” according to volunteers. Police and the city invoke security and hygiene reasons for asking volunteers to distribute elsewhere. Additional info found here.

Police have announced that the distribution of aid outside or around official camps will be forbidden. Those who violate the ban will be fined.

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store