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ECHR: Remedies proposed to detained migrants in emergency reception centres in Greece were neither accessible nor sufficient

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
ECHR Press Release
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
European Convention on Human Rights;
Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR], Kaak and Others v Greece, Application no. 34215/16, 03 October 2019. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

According the Court's Press release, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

  • no violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • no violation of Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security); and
  • a violation of Article 5 § 4 (right to a speedy decision on the lawfulness of detention).

The case concerned the conditions of detention of Syrian, Afghan and Palestinian nationals in the
“hotspots” of Vial and Souda (Greece), and the lawfulness of their detention in those camps.
The Court considered that the authorities had done all that could reasonably be expected of them in
the Vial camp to meet the obligation to provide care and protection to unaccompanied minors. The
other applicants had been transferred immediately – or within ten days – from the Vial camp to the
Souda camp. The Court also held that the conditions of detention in the Souda camp did not amount
to inhuman or degrading treatment.
The Court reiterated its previous finding that a period of one month’s detention in the Vial camp
should not be considered excessive, given the time needed to comply with the relevant
administrative formalities. In addition, the length of the applicants’ detention once they had
expressed their wish to apply for asylum had been relatively short.
In contrast, the applicants, who did not have legal assistance, had not been able to understand the
content of the information brochure; in particular, they were unable to understand the material
relating to the various appeal possibilities available under domestic law.

Country of Decision
Council of Europe
Court Name
CoE: European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR]
Case Number
Application no. 34215/16
Date of Decision
Country of Origin
Detention/ Alternatives to Detention
Effective remedy
Unaccompanied minors
Vulnerable Group