I Have Rights is one of 14 signatory organizations that sent a letter to the Minister of Migration and Asylum in September last year to raise the alarm on the risk of homelessness faced by recognized refugees due to administrative delays. Not only has the Minister not answered said letter but the situation has since gotten much worse, with people having to wait around 6 months to obtain the first of two appointments necessary to obtain their ID card, while still being forced out of the CCAC after 30 days. I Have Rights also received reports of the police refusing to give an appointment to recognized refugees. Without this document, securing work and housing is challenging and such delays in procedure make them vulnerable to homelessness, exploitation, and destitution. As such, this morning, we with five organisations sent an updated letter to the Minister.
In addition to our requests made in September 2022, the undersigned organisations urgently request that the Ministry of Migration and Asylum:
- Take measures to ensure people receive their post-recognition documents, especially their Greek residency ID card, on time and in a quick manner so they can leave the CCACs and integrate into society.
- In particular, we request that a task force be sent to Samos to support the police in working through the backlog of appointments and to improve waiting times for refugees to receive their documents.
- In order to curb the unfolding homelessness crisis on Samos, allow refugees to stay longer than 30 days post-recognition in CCACs when they do not yet have their Greek residency ID card.
- Ensure that asylum seekers and refugees are accommodated in urban accommodation schemes, not in CCACs and that they are accommodated until they have the necessary documents and support to integrate into local society.
Read the full letter in Greek or English here.