Third anniversary EU-Turkey Statement

14 March 2019

Brussels, 14 March 2019  Ahead of the third Anniversary since the entry into force of the EU-Turkey Statement in 2016, civil society organisations in Greece and across Europe, including JRS Europe and JRS Greece, denounce in a common open letter the systemic practice of confinement that asylum seekers and migrants have to suffer on the Greek islands.

A large number of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are restricted to live in overcrowded hotspots under unsafe, unhygienic and inhumane conditions as long as their asylum procedure is pending.

European leaders consider that restricting asylum seekers’ freedom of movement on the Greek islands will prevent irregular secondary movements to other Member States. At the same time, asylum seekers are kept close to Turkey where they are to be returned according to the EU Turkey Statement.

Civil society organisations decry the appalling conditions in EU hotspots that expose people to violence and exploitation. Moreover, they urge EU to end this policy of trapping asylum seekers and make the protection of people in need a priority.  

Full statement with concrete recommendations.