Over 5,000 asylum seekers in Greece to relocate to Europe


A new voluntary scheme will see more than 5,000 asylum seekers and refugees from Greece relocated throughout Europe according to a recent announcement b the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) which aims to support vulnerable groups and enhance solidarity among European Union (EU) Member States .

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM)  in collaboration with EASO, UNHCR and UNICEF is supporting the Greek Government, the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and the General Secretary of Migration Policy in relocating asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection from Greece to other European countries.

The voluntary mechanism aims to prepare and relocate 5,200 vulnerable asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, including 1,600 Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMC) and children with severe medical conditions accompanied by their family members.

IOM is collaborating with its partners and other sub-contracted organizations (ARSIS, Merimna, METAdrasi, PRAKSIS, Syn-eirmos, Terre des Hommes, Solidarity Now, Zeuxis) to ensure that all the beneficiaries travel in a safe and dignified manner and to prepare them before departure with enhanced skills and information to ease their integration in the Member State of Relocation (MSR).The project is funded by the Directorate for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission.

Meanwhile, nearly 10,000 refugees have come from Ukraine to Greece since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

In particular, 9,875 Ukrainian citizens have crossed the border, of whom 3,201 are minors.

Many of these Ukrainian citizens include ethnic Greeks from the Mariupol region.

Last week, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi announced the operation of new registration centres for Ukrainian refugees at the regional asylum offices in Patras, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Athens.

“As we have clarified, Greece will offer a 12-month residence and work permit to people who, due to the Russian invasion, were forced to leave their homes,” he said after his visit to the regional asylum office of Thessaloniki.

“They will go to the centres after a pre-registration that will be done digitally to receive their 12-month permit identity card and, at the same time, to receive their Social Security Number (AMKA) and the Tax Registration Number (AFM) to make it easy for them to adapt during the period that Greece offers them hospitality,” said Mitarachi.

Later, Mitarachi left for the city of Serres to visit the passport control centre at the Promachonas border post, where a migration ministry reception and identification centre is operating.

He also visited the refugee and migrant facility at Sintiki.