Fifteen humanitarian organizations call on MPs not to vote for new asylum bill

Fifteen humanitarian organizations called on members of Parliament on Thursday to refrain from passing a draft bill with regulations on migrant applications for asylum, describing it as “a significant backtracking” in the rights of migrants.

The 15 said that the new draft laws – under a bill of the Citizen Protection ministry titled “Regarding international protection and other regulations” – replace current regulations protecting these rights, especially for vulnerable membersmand “do not take into account the reality on the ground; they could also lead to violations of national and EU laws,” they said.

Additional problematic issues the bill introduces, they said, include “short deadlines, the practical obstacles to accessing the application process for refugee status, and the unjustified extension of detention.”

They also charged that the bill does not improve processing time or even guarantee its shorter duration, and the fast-track process it was introduced under “did not allow adequate time for review and commentary.”

Included in the 15 are ActionAid Hellas, Doctors of the World, the Greek and Danish Councils of Refugees, Defence for Children International, the International Rescue Committee-Hellas and Praksis.