The team of I HAVE RIGHTS developed a free legal online tool for persons in their asylum procedure living in a Greek “hotspot” to request interim measures under Rule 39 of the rules of the European Court of Human Rights.

With this tool we want to fight for a society where, even if someone ends up in an unfortunate position, they can still rely on certain inalienable rights.

The tool is addressed to vulnerable people, e.g. pregnant women and unaccompanied minors. Our experience has shown that the submission of urgent complaints is only successful for people who are part of these special vulnerable groups. The reason for this limit is the existing case law of the ECHR. We try our best to assist as many asylum seekers as possible within these limitations.

To find out more about the legal procedure, please read our FAQs below.

NOTICE: Currently the online tool is not activated due to internal changes in the organisation. I HAVE RIGHTS is starting to work on cases again starting from January 2022. Next year the tool will be activated again so you can fill out the form and submit your case online.

How can you assist me claiming my rights?2021-10-12T08:13:37+00:00

According to Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) “no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held that degrading and inhumane living conditions in refugee camps can amount to a violation of Art. 3 ECHR by the responsible government.

If you are living in these camps we can assist you in submitting an urgent complaint (interim measure) to the ECtHR, located in France. The Court is responsible for complaints against violations of human rights under the European Convention of Human Rights. If your complaint is successful the Court usually orders the government to provide you with adequate living conditions.

What is the European Convention on Human Rights? (ECHR)2021-10-12T08:00:41+00:00

The European Convention on Human Rights is an international treaty under which the member States of the Council of Europe promise to secure fundamental civil and political rights, not only to their own citizens but also to everyone within their jurisdiction. The Convention secures in particular:

  • the right to life,
  • the right to a fair hearing,
  • the right to respect for private and family life,
  • freedom of expression,
  • freedom of thought, conscience and religion and,
  • the protection of property.

The Convention prohibits in particular:

  • torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,
  • slavery and forced labour,
  • capital punishment,
  • arbitrary and unlawful detention, and
  • discrimination in the enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set out in the Convention.
What is the European Court of Human Rights? (ECtHR)2021-10-12T07:59:32+00:00

The European Court of Human Rights is an international court set up in 1959. It rules on individual or state applications claiming violations of the human rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

What is an interim measure?2020-05-25T14:47:47+00:00

Interim measures are urgent measures which apply only where there is an imminent risk of irreparable harm. It enables the applicants to temporarily secure their rights in an accelerated procedure. Such measures are decided in connection with proceedings before the Court without prejudging the case in question.

What happens when I submit an interim measure to the European Court of Human Rights?2020-06-05T16:38:55+00:00

Requesting interim measures is an emergency procedure. We request that the Court order the Greek government to urgently improve your living conditions. We will get a decision by the Court within a few days after submitting it. This decision (if successful) will only order the Government “to guarantee to the applicant living conditions compatible with his or her state of health and particular needs”.

Who can submit an interim measure to the European Court of Human Rights?2020-06-05T16:39:37+00:00

In general, every person who believes that his or her rights under the European Convention of Human Rights are being violated can submit an urgent complaint. This violation must be still ongoing at the moment of the urgent complaint. In addition, there must be a “real risk of irreparable harm”, which can be of physical, mental or financial nature.

However, our legal team can only assist people living in the refugee camps on the Greek island of Samos. Our experience shows that the submission of urgent complaints only works for people with specific vulnerabilities such as pregnant women, unaccompanied minors, elderly people and people with serious medical conditions.

By cooperating with professionals and NGOs working in the field, we hope to be able to support more individuals with our work in the future.

Will my asylum procedure be affected if I file an interim measure at the Court?2020-06-05T16:40:19+00:00

No. The complaint does not have any impact on your asylum procedure. The European Court of Human Rights is an institution that is completely separate from the Greek asylum authorities. Therefore, the Court’s decision will not be communicated with the asylum authorities. That means that a negative decision by this Court regarding your living conditions does not have any negative effect on the outcome of your asylum procedure. It also means that a positive decision does not improve your chances of getting asylum in Greece. The procedure before the European Court of Human Rights is an option to possibly improve your living conditions – nothing more.

Will I get an ‘open card’ (lifting of geographical restrictions) if my complaint is successful?2020-06-08T08:53:16+00:00

Even if your complaint is successful, it is not guaranteed that you then get an “open card”. In some cases, the government does not follow the order of the Court and nothing about the living conditions of the applicant is changed. Also, even though the submission of an interim measure has helped other applicants, the Court might decide differently in your case.

Who is your legal team? Will they be my lawyers?2020-05-25T14:51:42+00:00

Our legal team that will assist you filing your complaint are not your lawyers. Most of our team members – while supervised by specialised migration lawyers – are not yet lawyers themselves, but experienced legal counsellors. They do not represent you legally in any procedure other than the one in front of the European Court of Human Rights.

Do I have to pay money to you or to the Court?2020-05-25T14:52:08+00:00

No. The service of our legal team is free. All team members are volunteers. The costs of filing the request (telefax, mail etc.) are covered through external funding. The procedure at the Court is free of charge.

How long does it take?2020-06-05T16:41:46+00:00

Filling in our form takes 5 – 10 minutes. If you belong to the group of people we are able to assist at the moment, our legal team will get in touch with you within a week. They will schedule a call with you which will take around one hour. Our legal team then needs around one week to write your request for interim measures. How fast the request can be sent to the court also depends on how fast you provide our legal team with all relevant documents. The court will usually decide within a few (2-5) days.
If and when the Greek authorities react to the order of the court is unfortunately not predictable.

What kind of documents do I need?2020-06-05T16:35:58+00:00

To file your case at the ECHR, our legal team needs a few documents from you to support your claim. Which documents are required depends on your case. For example, if you have a serious disease that cannot be treated on the island, you need official medical documents that prove your condition and that state that you need to be evacuated from the island.

During the call our legal team will inform you which documents are required.

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