|Author (Corporate)||United Nations, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees|
|Series Title||Press Release|
The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) urged on the 1 April 2016 parties to the 18 March 2016 EU-Turkey agreement on refugees and migrants to ensure all safeguards were in place before any returns began from Greece to Turkey.
UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said that serious gaps still existed in both countries to deal with the situation. In Greece, which has been compelled to host people because of closed borders elsewhere in Europe, UNHCR said 'numerous aspects of the systems for receiving and dealing with people who may need international protection were still either not working or absent'.
In Turkey, UNHCR had requested access to people returned from Greece, to ensure people could benefit from effective international protection and to prevent risk of refoulement.
Reports said that returns were supposed to begin on 4 April 2016, though neither Greece nor Turkey were fully ready and uncertainty remained over how many would be sent back and how they would be processed.
Greek officials told Associated Press that the returns on the 4 April 2016 could start from the island of Lesbos and involve migrants whose asylum claims were considered inadmissible, including those from Pakistan.
The Greek Parliament approved on the 1 April 2016 the law that introduced the necessary legal and administrative changes for the government to be in a position to start implementing the EU-Turkey agreement.
|Subject Categories||Justice and Home Affairs|
|Countries / Regions||Europe, Greece, Southeastern Europe, Turkey|