The Special Secretariat for Crisis Management Communication of the Ministry for Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media has published the 4th issue of its Newsletter on the Refugee-Migration issue, that includes statistics and information regarding the January-September 2018 period as well as the actions of national institutions and public services in this field.

The last issue includes an introductory memo by the Μigration Policy Ministry Asylum Service Director Markos Karavias, who points out that “Despite the overall decrease of the number of asylum applications in Europe within 2017, Greece continues to be under disproportionate pressure “. He specifically notes that, “In 2017, the Asylum Service recorded 58,642 applications, with numbers rising in 2018, with 47,390 applications registered during the first nine months. In the same period of 2018, the Asylum Service issued 33,091 first instance decisions. According to the latest Eurostat statistics, Greece ranks second among EU Member States in terms of asylum applications per capita after Cyprus. It is therefore clear that Greece bears a considerable burden within the Union, which is called upon to show substantial and practical solidarity towards it.”

“The Common European Asylum System which is being negotiated, including the new Dublin Regulation, must be in full compliance with the fundamental principles of fair redistribution and the safeguards laid down by the Geneva Convention and, thus, the European Convention on Human Rights. At the same time, a debate – beyond asylum – should be launched on the opening of legal migration channels”, according to Mr Karavias.

In the 4thIssue of the Newsletter detailed data is provided on:

Asylum Seekers

The total number of asylum seekers residing in accommodation centres under the supervision of the Greek state is approximately 70,000.

Apart from the 6 Reception and Identification Centres for Refugees and Migrants on Greek Islands and the Evros area, there are a total of 28 temporary residence and refugee/migrant host facilities on the mainland.

By the end of August, another 21,412 people were accommodated in apartments under the ESTIA program, according to UNHCR data.

Refugee and migratory flows

According to data from the National Coordination Centre for Border, Immigration and Asylum (NCCBIA), 23,996 third-country nationals arrived illegally from January to September 2018 through the Greek-Turkish sea border, compared to 19,799 for the same period in 2017.

During the same time period, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) rescued 17,313 people compared to 16,762 for the same period in the previous year.

The irregular inflows during January-September 2018 from the Greek-Turkish land border amounted to 12,290, compared to 3,744 for the same period in 2017.


Regarding first instance asylum applications there was an increase of 10.53% during January-September 2018, compared to the same period last year. In particular, 47,390 asylum applications were filed, compared to 42,874 in 2017. Also increased by 38.81% were the appeals lodged with the Appeals Committee, the respective period this year.

In the Aegean islands, asylum applications have increased by 21.62% compared to the corresponding period of 2017.

The positive in-substance decisions issued by the Asylum Service in the January-September 2018 period increased by 49.05% compared to those issued the same period last year, while at the same time there was an increase of 55.75% in vulnerable persons referrals. In contrast, there was a 29.12% decrease in family reunification referrals from January to September 2018 compared to the same period of 2017.


The total number of refugee children enrolled in all levels of education during the school year 2017-18 amounted to 8,017.


From January 2018 to August 6, 2018 – when the “Philos” Health program was concluded – a total of 11,043 vaccination shots were administered in refugee and migrant structures.

Coping with Gender Violence

The actions of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality, in collaboration with other agencies, to address phenomena of gender violence in the refugee-migrant populations are being recorded in detail.

The Newsletter also includes Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ speeches delivered to the UN and the EU, the activity of the Migration Policy Minister Mr. Dimitris Vitsas and the address by the Special Secretary for Crisis Communication at the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media, Mrs. Fotini Pantiora at the 1st Euro-Mediterranean Workshop of Migration and Refugee Communication Policy decision makers, held in Tunisia.

The 4th issue of the Newsletter in English.