Third Party Intervention in A.R. and others v. Greece, Application Nos. 59841/19 and 7 other applications, June 2021

Written submissions on behalf of The AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), DCR (Dutch Council for Refugees) and ECRE (European Council on Refugees and Exiles).

Executive Summary

  1. In order to fully comply with their obligations under the Convention, Contracting Parties must ensure that the reception standards respect human dignity, and are adapted to the specific needs of vulnerable migrants. These standards include adequate living conditions with access, inter alia, to shelter, food, water, basic amenities such as a safe place to sleep, and guaranteed access to medical, psychological and legal assistance. A lack of adequate reception conditions would result in a failure by Contracting Parties to respect their obligations under Art. 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and would constitute a violation of human dignity. The intervenors submit that the Court should assess whether steps were taken by the authorities of the Contracting Parties to improve the material conditions of reception or whether the actions taken by the authorities indicate indifference towards the applicants, particularly in relation to their respective vulnerability and needs for access to medical assistance. The early identification of vulnerable individuals should be prioritised to enable access to the rights they are entitled to under international and EU law. The inherent vulnerability of asylum seekers further requires the special attention of public authorities to ensure their full and effective access to domestic remedies in order meet the intended purpose of Art. 13 ECHR. States must therefore provide guarantees based on the sui generis needs of an applicant, including medical or psychological assistance, which meet the standards of Art. 13 and applicable EU law.
  2. Pursuant to Article 34 ECHR, Contracting Parties must refrain from acts or omissions that hinder the exercise of an individual’s rights. Where interim measures apply to vulnerable individuals, a Contracting Party has an enhanced duty to these individuals and must abide by the measure indicated with diligence and take the appropriate protective measures that the particular vulnerability of the applicant so requires. These interim measures are designed to prevent irreparable harm and should therefore be applied immediately and rigorously enforced by the Contracting Party.


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