UPDATE APRIL 2018
Court case victory in Germany
Approved family reunification applicants in Greece have to wait for many many months to be reunited with their family members, because German authorities are delaying the process. This clearly violates their basic rights to family unity. The Mobile Info Team referred several cases to Pro Asyl in Germany, who went to court with them. In April we had our first victory in front of a German court! That means that Wisal* will soon be able to reunite with her husband, and father of her little child to start their new life with him in Germany, instead of still having to wait in Greece for an indefinite period. We hope very much that several other victories like this will follow.
* name was changed to ensure privacy
Breaking the news about family reunification
Family reunification laws and regulations are complicated and constantly changing. A recent ruling of the highest European Court of Justice makes it easier for minors who turn 18 to still reunify with their parents. Through a widely boosted Facebook post, the Mobile Info Team tried to reach as many affected refugees as possible to make sure that they were made aware of this new development. We also gave individual support where needed so that individuals who are eligible can benefit from this new ruling.
Also for refugees in Greece waiting to be reunited with family members in another European State there were major changes in the procedure, as they now have to book their own tickets for their transfer by themselves. The Mobile Info Team was one of the first to break this news, and gave important assistance about how to best deal with this new situation.
Emergency response for new arrivals in Thessaloniki
In the last weeks, a huge number of new asylum seekers, mostly directly from the war zone in Afrin (Syria) have arrived to Thessaloniki. The Mobile Info Team was part of a volunteer coordinated emergency response to give these people blankets, water and basic information about the available services and community centres upon arrival. The trained translators and cultural mediators of the Mobile Info Team were a great help to communicate with these new arrivals, and providing a first port of support and help.
Picture: Marianna Karakoulaki
Support for Urdu speaking asylum seekers to apply for asylum
For asylum seekers in Greece it is a huge struggle to apply for asylum, because they have to do this through a Skype line, where it is incredibly difficult to get through. Urdu speakers sometimes have to keep trying for nearly a year until they finally get a response. On top of that there is a huge danger of confusion, because different accounts pose as the official Skype account of the Asylum Service. To support Urdu speaking asylum seekers, the Mobile Info Team made several posts in April to clarify problems and give people the possibility of connecting to the correct Skype account and get a better chance to access to the Greek asylum system.
Please click here to see our video about the difficulties of Urdu speakers to apply for asylum.