Publication of the 6th Newsletter on the Refugee-Migration Issue


The 6th issue of the Newsletter on the Refugee- Migration Issue has been published by the Secretariat for Crisis Management Communication. In this issue, information has been included, as well as the most important actions- interventions taken by state authorities and other organizations on this particular field for the first quarter of 2019.
Among other things, the Minister for Migration Policy, Mr Dimitris Vitsas points out in his introductory note:” We strongly seek to implement a generous relocation plan for the asylum applicants, which will include the whole of the procedures, from reception to the final outcome of the asylum application. Only through such a plan will there be a substantial relief for the first reception countries and it will become clear that real solidarity remains a fundamental principle of the EU.
From 2015 until today, we have managed, with systematic effort and despite adverse conditions, to create a reception and hospitality system from scratch, which, in many aspects, more than covers international standards, something that is being recognized by those who are fair, not only in Greece, but also in Europe”.
According to figures cited by the Minister for Migration Policy:
– Today, approximately 73.000 refugees and migrants reside in Greece.
– By the end of March 2019 at the Reception and Identification Centres on the islands, there were 11.492 people living, compared to 18.200 people in September 2018. It is a priority for the Ministry of Migration Policy to decongest our islands as much as possible. Within this scope, 29.090 people have been transferred from the islands to structures on the mainland during 2018, to whom, either international protection was provided, or they belonged to vulnerable groups. Furthermore, on the first quarter of 2019, 3687 persons were moved from the islands to the mainland.
– Aiming at improving reception structures, the Ministry for Migration Policy relocates Reception and Identification Centre from Vathi to Zervos area. The new Reception and Identification Centre will have a total capacity of 1.200 persons, while the existing Centre will be closed and will be returned to the Municipal Authority at the inhabitants benefit.
– During the first quarter, 7.746 people came to Greece, a fact that indicates a significant decrease in the total flows compared to the same period in the previous year.
– During the same period, 1.827 people left the country (37 on the framework of the EU- Turkey Joint Statement, 1.201 with voluntary returns, while 589 people were transferred to other EU Member States for family reunification.
– For 2018- 2019 school year, nearly 12.500 children of refugees and migrants attend classes in Reception Structures for Refugee Children Education, while, nursery schools also function within the hosting structures.
Moreover, according to other data provided by the Authorities and included in the Newsletter:
– During the January- March 2019 quarter, an increase by 24,6% in the issue of decisions in substance on the first degree for asylum applications is recorded, compared to the same quarter of the previous year. More specific, on the Aegean Islands, in the corresponding period, the positive decisions in substance increased by 42,3% compared to the corresponding period of last year.
– As far as the Appeals Authority is concerned, during the first quarter of the year, the figures show a significant increase in the examination of second instance applications by 44,7%, compared to the corresponding period of 2018.
– The Hellenic Coast Guard in January- March 2019 has rescued 5.627 refugees and migrants compared to 5.160 for the same period in the previous year.
According to data from the National Centre for Health Operations of the Ministry of Health, during the first quarter of 2019, 15.160 refugees and migrants received treatment in the country’s health care facilities.
– The estimated number of unaccompanied minors in Greece on the 31st March 2019 amounted to 3.774 of which 93,9% were boys and 6,1% were girls, while 7,1% were under the age of 14.

You can see the 6th issue of the Newsletter here