MINISTRY OF PUBLIC ORDER
HELLENIC POLICE HEADQUARTERS
PRESS OFFICEAthens, 12/05/200.PRESS RELEASE
The General Secretary of the Ministry of Public Order Mr. Kostis Ailianos met yesterday (11-5-2006) with representatives from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in order to further enhance cooperation between the two institutions on this subject.
The meeting was held at the Ministry of Public Order. The following executives attended the meeting: the UN Deputy Director for Europe Mr. Guy OUELLET, the Head of the UNHCR delegation in Athens Ms. Karen FARKAS, the Head of the Protection Department of the UNHCR in Athens Ms. Maria Stavropoulou, the Head of the Asylum Department of the Foreign Nationals Division of the Hellenic Police Force Headquarters, Police Director Konstantinos Kordatos.
The very good cooperation that has been developed was reiterated with these talks as well as the progress that has been made in the field of asylum. Furthermore, proposals to further strengthen the cooperation were made, including, among others, the following:
- Appointment of external experts consultants through the Public Order Ministry to join the official agents in their work,
- Further training of police staff in asylum matters,
- Review of current legislative framework,
- Continuation of the work of the informal working group within the Ministry of Public Order and the UNHCR in order to settle any emerging issues,
- Information to the asylum seekers and the groups of population in need of protection.
The General Secretary, Mr. Kostis Ailianos, also referred to the initiatives that the Ministry of Public Order has undertaken up till the present day and mainly, to the necessary infrastructure allowing for a more considerate and detailed examination of the asylum demands in the first and second degree.
More special reference was made, among others, to the following issues:
- Upgrading the asylum agencies in Athens and Thessalonica and creating new services,
- Setting up a computerized application platform,
- Creating a new legislative framework on the asylum process by harmonizing Greek law with the European Union directives, which are currently being processed,
- Constant training of staff through the organization of seminars and conferences, in cooperation with the UNHCR, the Greek Council for Refugees and other NGOs,
- Setting up a Documentation Center at the Asylum Department of the Foreign Nationals Division under the Hellenic Police Force Headquarters,
- Replacement of travel documents of refugees and persons without a nationality.