Human rights body calls for extension in asylum bill consultation


Greece's National Commission for Human Rights (EEDA) called on the Minister for Citizens' Protection, Michalis Chrysochoidis, to extend the period of public consultation over a bill that will bring changes to asylum law, saying the time granted is not enough for any meaningful debate.

GNCHR said that, considering the importance of the issues debated, the organization and civil society need to have enough time to study and comment on the bill.

“The public consultation of just four working days of your ministry's legislative initiative … along with the relevant explanatory report does not meet this reasonable demand,” GNCHR said in a letter to the minister.

“The public consultation must have a meaningful and not pretextual character,” it added.

The ministry was expected to submit a bill to Parliament early Tuesday introducing drastic changes to the country’s asylum system.

The government hopes that the new measures, which are to go into effect next year, will accelerate procedures and help decongest severely overcrowded island facilities.

GNCHR is an advisory body to the Greek State on matters pertaining to human rights protection.