EASO Decision to Double Asylum Officers in Greece ‘Encouraging,’ But Due Process Must Not be Sacrificed

Statement from Refugees International Senior Advocate for Women and Girls Devon Cone on the announcement that European Asylum Support Office (EASO) is doubling its staff in order to speed up processing of asylum claims on the Greek islands:

“People seeking safety in Europe are living in deplorable conditions for months and even years on the Greek islands while they wait for their asylum decisions. The overcrowded islands are way past their breaking points. The EU’s decision to hire more staff to process asylum claims will likely speed up decision-making and prevent people from languishing in squalid conditions for long periods of time.

It is encouraging to see that Greece and the EU acknowledge the need to process cases more quickly. However, it is now imperative that the EU ensure that these new staff are well trained to make fair and informed decisions on each individual case. In their rush to get through an enormous backlog, they must not sacrifice due process for asylum seekers.”

Devon traveled to the Greek islands for a fact-finding mission on conditions facing asylum seekers. A report on the situation and recommending a path forward is forthcoming.

For more information or to interview Devon, please contact Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org or 202 540 7029.