Athens, Greece, May 9, 2017 — The International Rescue Committee and 14 other nongovernmental humanitarian organizations (NGOs) urge the Greek government to immediately reverse the recent policy excluding asylum-seekers on the Greek islands who appeal negative asylum decisions from the possibility of participating later on in the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) program and forcing those who wish to participate to forego their right to appeal.
The decision follows the direction set by the recommendations in the European Commission's and Greek Government’s Joint Action Plan on the European Union (EU) – Turkey Statement of March 18, 2016, which aims to limit the steps in the appeals process and remove so-called “administrative obstacles to swift voluntary return.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 28 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.