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Decision of the European Committee of Social Rights on the admissibility and immediate measures in the case International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 173/2018

Strasbourg 29/05/2019
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Decision of the European Committee of Social Rights on the admissibility and immediate measures in the case International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 173/2018

The European Committee of Social Rights adopted during its 306th session (20-24 May 2019):

The complaint registered on 30 November 2018 relates to Articles 7§10 (the right of children and young persons to protection), 11§§1 and 3 (the right to protection of health), 13 (the right to social and medical assistance), 16 (the right to appropriate social, legal and economic protection for the family), 17 (the right of children and young persons to appropriate social, legal and economic protection) and 31§§1 and 2 (the right to housing) of the Revised European Social Charter.

The ICJ and ECRE allege that serious systemic flaws in Greek law, policy and practice, which deprive unaccompanied children in Greece (both on the mainland and islands) and accompanied migrant children on the Greek islands of rights to housing, health, social and medical assistance, education, and social, legal and economic protection, are contrary to the obligations of Greece under the European Social Charter.

The Committee declared the complaint admissible on 23 May 2019 and decided to indicate to the Government immediate measures which should be adopted.

In particular, the European Committee of Social Rights requested the Greek Government:

  • to ensure the appointment of a guardian at the time that a separated or unaccompanied child in need of international protection is identified as well as the effective functioning of the guardianship system;
  • to ensure the use of alternatives to detention of migrant children, and to ensure in particular that unaccompanied children in police stations, pre-removal centres and Reception and Identification Centres are provided with immediate access to age-appropriate shelters;
  • to ensure access to food, water, education, and appropriate shelter;
  • to ensure access to health care and medical assistance, in particular by ensuring the presence of an adequate number of medical professionals to meet the needs of the children whose rights are the subject of this complaint; and
  • to ensure that all the relevant public authorities are made aware of this decision.

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