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Greece

Greece has been ground zero in Europe’s efforts to halt irregular migration for several years. At the same time, the country’s economic crisis has exasperated social divisions leading to increasing violence and hostility directed at foreigners. With massive financial and operational assistance provided by the European Union, Greece has confronted migratory pressures by emphasizing interdiction, detention, and removal, to the detriment of the protection of vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers. Conditions at its detention centres are regarded as among the worst in Europe, and numerous UN bodies have published scathing reports about the state of these facilities. In addition, domestic and regional courts have issued more than a dozen judgements condemning Greece’s detention practices. In one case from 2012, a judge in a domestic court acquitted several migrants of charges related to their escape from a detention facility in the port of Igoumenitsa on the basis that the conditions of their detention violated the country’s obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Greece Quick Facts

  • Immigration detention capacity:
    6290
    Persons expelled :
    16650
    International migrants:
    988200
    New asylum applications :
    9580