22 March 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency has announced that it is “not a party” to the new provisions agreed between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the large-scale flow of refugees and migrants into Greece and Europe, and that it will align its work to cope with the deal.
Till now, the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been supporting the authorities in the so-called “hotspots” on the Greek islands, where refugees and migrants were received, assisted, and registered. Under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect this past Sunday, these sites have now become detention facilities, and all new “irregular” migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey.
UNHCR has a policy on opposing mandatory detention. Accordingly, it has suspended some of activities at all closed centres on the islands, including provision of transport to and from these sites.
“UNHCR is not a party to the EU-Turkey deal, nor will we be involved in returns or detention,” the agency said in a press release. “We will continue to assist the Greek authorities to develop an adequate reception capacity.”
Read Full Article: UN News Centre – UN refugee agency redefines role in Greece as EU-Turkey deal comes into effect.