Following the closure of the Western Balkan route and the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement in the islands in 2016, the land borders of Evros were excluded from this Statement and we have witnessed an increase of flows at the area through Evros river (a natural border between Greece and Turkey in the north) while the monitoring of the area was and remains  virtually non-existent. The lack of international scrutiny and media attention in combination with the lack of funding has enabled the Greek government and European authorities to act with impunity in this area where until now, only ad hoc visits are conducted from actors at the field. As a result, a lack of adequate legal & psychosocial support documentation and advocacy around what is taking place on the Evros border, which is pivotal within the broader issue of border violence along the borders, including the Balkan route, has been were observed.

HumanRight360, identifying the needs and the gaps in this strategic area (political and geographical) has deployed one Lawyer and one Social Worker from September 2018 to promote and defend vulnerable persons’ rights through the bellow coordinated approaches:

Provision of adequate legal & psychosocial support and alternative protection in the Reception and Identification Center of Orestiada (RIC), in the Pre-removal center of Fylakio and in Evros region in general in order for vulnerable persons to exercise their legal and social rights in conjunction with a cross-cutting policy oriented advocacy to the competent authorities and actors

Monitoring of the European land borders of Evros with Turkey in order to document, demonstrate and report upon the situation, the flows, the patterns and the practices which are implemented at the land borders of Evros with focus on the illegal forced removals (push backs)

Providing evidence regarding the patterns and practices which are implemented at the land borders of Evros with focus on the illegal forced removals (push backs)

Establishing alliances in order to develop a cross-border cooperation among civil society organizations in the Balkan region. Although these countries dealing with the movement and transit of massive numbers of refugees through their respective territories, have failed to establish an individual system for assessing the needs of transiting persons within the frame of these mixed migration movements and dealing with the illegal forced returns across the Balkan route

The combination of these approaches is functioning alongside in a complimentary manner since a systematic and adequate border monitoring-reporting requires access to the border processes (Reception and Identification Centres, Detention Facilities and Police Stations) and the opposite. Thus, HumanRights360 aims to address, among others, issues pertaining vulnerable persons’ legal status and to defend against human rights violations & to facilitate the process of border monitoring and reporting in order to demonstrate the situation, the flows, the patterns and the practices which are implemented at the land borders of Evros. These population, in many cases has been transited through the territories across Balkan route and has deal with the illegal forced returns across the Balkan route.

Projects in which the parallel implementation of the above activities is active are

1. Legal aid to Unaccompanied and Separated minors & vulnerable population in Evros region with the support of Radcliffe Foundation and Help Refugees.
2. Border monitoring with the support of Open Society Foundation.
3. Research in coordination with Forensic Architectures with the support of Open Society Foundation.
4. 2018 CSО’s REPORT on the irregular migration for South-Eastern Europe, with the support of Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA).