The Equality Challenge
Edited by Sonia Morano-Foadi and Micaela Malena
Chapter 7: Equal before the law? The case of asylum procedures and detention of asylum-seekers in Greece
Effective access to a fair and efficient procedure for the examination of asylum claims is an indisputable prerequisite for the identification of persons eligible for protection who may then be granted protection status as well as certain social entitlements. In addition, asylum-seekers have the right to minimum standards regarding their reception conditions, including freedom of movement. The legislative instrument which sets out to harmonise procedures in Member States for granting or withdrawing refugee status by laying down minimum standards is Council Directive 2005/85/EC. Council Directive 2003/9/EC seeks to establish minimum standards for the reception of asylum-seekers and contains provisions giving some guidance as to when detention is permissible as well as regarding the conditions of detention. Further guidance is provided by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. Greece, with its particular geographic location, has become one of the main entry points to the EU. The country has extensive sea and land borders, which are extremely difficult to control.
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