Frontpage News 2012 Asylum reform in Greece: EEA Grants provides funding to UNHCR

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Asylum reform in Greece: EEA Grants provides funding to UNHCR

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are supporting the Greek government’s comprehensive reform of its migration management and asylum system. One of the projects involves cooperation with the UNCHR.

Greek reforms are partly a response to repeated and serious concerns raised by a number of human rights organisations, including the United High Commissioner for Refugees (the UNHCR). With financial support through the EEA Grants, the UNHCR can continue its assistance to the Greek government in the reform process.

The 1951 Refugee Convention obliges its signatories, including Greece, to ensure a human and fair treatment of persons seeking international protection. UNHCR is the guardian of this convention, the key legal document defining who should be recognised as a refugee, the rights of refugees and the legal obligations the States have towards them.

In August 2010, the Greek government adopted a “National Plan for Migration Management”. The UNHCR assists the Greek government in implementing this plan. Based on Greek legislation, UNHCR experts participate in asylum-interviews and in providing advice to the Greek authorities on international refugee law and on the situation in the country of origin of asylum-seekers.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have made €2.2 million available for the UNHCR.The project is part of a €21 million EEA Grants programme to assist Greece in modernising its asylum and migration system. Greece was traditionally one of the most important emigration countries in Europe. Today, Greece has become one of the main entry gates in Europe. This is due to its location along migration routes from poorer and neighbouring regions.