Legal opinion

Challenges and barriers to legal aid for migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Greece

Published 25. Jan 2018
More than 51.000 people are stranded around Greece. The majority have applied for asylum while others wait for relocation or family reunification applications to be decided so that they can move on to other member states.

Applicants for all processes require legal assistance: to ensure the appropriate asylum procedure is pursued, vulnerabilities are detected, deadlines met, the process is fair and that basic human needs are fulfilled, and rights are respected.

However, in reality, provision of legal aid is patchy due to numerous administrative, legislative and practical obstacles. The following observations are drawn from the experience of 14 organisations assisting asylum seekers on the ground.