„Without Papers, There is No Life“

Legal barriers in access to protection for unaccompanied children in Greece
Agapi Chouzouraki | Save the Children | 2023
„Without Papers, There is No Life“

This report shows the considerable challenges confronting unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Greece. These challenges are due to the country’s complicated asylum system and lack of a special residence permit for children. Not having proper documents makes children feel unsafe and insecure and is an infringement of their fundamental rights. (...)

Children face substantial challenges when their asylum claims are denied, as they often don’t have the support needed to articulate their fear of persecution. Indicatively, in 2022, only 981 positive first-instance decisions were assigned to unaccompanied children out of 3,175 applications lodged, leaving the vast majority of children without documentation, given that the asylum procedure is – at the moment – the main way for an unaccompanied child to regularise the stay. Children who are denied asylum are not automatically entitled to a residence permit, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This report stresses the need for a special residence permit for unaccompanied children, ensuring their full rights until they reach adulthood. (...)