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The decision on the merits in International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 173/2018, is now public

Strasbourg 12/07/2021
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The decision on the merits in International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 173/2018, is now public

The decision of the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) in International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) v. Greece, Complaint No. 173/2018 became public on 12 July 2021.

In their complaint, ICJ and ECRE alleged that serious systemic flaws in Greek law, policy and practice deprive unaccompanied migrant children in Greece (both on the mainland and on the Greek Aegean islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos, Chios and Leros, “the Greek islands” or “the islands”) and accompanied migrant children on the Greek islands of the rights to housing, health, social and medical assistance, education, and social, legal and economic protection under the European Social Charter (“the Charter”) in violation of Articles 31§§ 1 and 2 (right to housing), 17§1 (right of children and young persons to social, legal and economic protection), 16 (right of the family to social, legal and economic protection), 7§10 (right of children and young persons to protection), 11§§1 and 3 (right to protection of health), 13 (right to social and medical assistance) and 17§2 (right of children and young persons to education).

The European Committee of Social Rights adopted its decision on the merits on 26 January 2021.

In its decision on the merits, the Committee concluded:

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article 31§1 of the Charter due to:

> the failure to provide adequate accommodation to refugee and asylumseeking children on the islands;

> the lack of sufficient longterm accommodation for unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children on the mainland;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article 31§2 of the Charter due to:

> the inappropriate accommodation of accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children on the islands;

> the lack of provision of a shelter to unaccompanied migrant children on the mainland;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article 17§1 of the Charter due to:

> the inadequate accommodation situation of accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children;

> the lack of an effective guardianship system for unaccompanied and separated migrant children;

> the detention of unaccompanied migrant children under the “protective custody” scheme;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article 7§10 of the Charter due to the failure to take the necessary measures to guarantee accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children the special protection against physical and moral dangers;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article 17§2 of the Charter due to the lack of access to education for accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children on the islands;

- unanimously that there is a violation of Article 11§§1 and 3 of the Charter due to:

> the failure to provide appropriate accommodation and sufficient health care to accompanied and unaccompanied migrant children on the islands;

> the failure to provide appropriate shelter to unaccompanied migrant children on the mainland;

- unanimously that there is no violation of Article 13§1 of the Charter with regard to the provision of food.