S1 EP1: "It's not an algorithm where you enter your data and receive an application."

Director of the Asylum Service in Greece, Dr. Markos Karavias, explains the procedure of becoming recognised as a refugee and why it takes so long.
JANUARY, 17 / 2019
Welcome to the first episode of the Undocumented. Episodes will be published every Thursday noon, until the end of February 2019. Get each one delivered for free on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Radio Public, Stitcher, or just listen here:
The current perception is Europe is that the refugee crisis is over and the numbers of arrivals are lessening. This does not apply to Greece. In our first episode, Dr. Markos Karavias tells Aristea about the growing number of asylum applications in Greece, the lack of competent interpreters, and what an asylum seeker should do in order to become or at least try to become documented.


As of December 2018, almost 185,000 asylum applications have been lodged in Greece. According to data shared by the Asylum Service, in 2015 there were 13,187 applications submitted - a 39,8% increase from 2014 (9,431 applications). The EU-Turkey statement, signed one year later on March 18, 2016, did not stem the follow of asylum seekers risking their lives in the Aegean, with the number rising by 287,1% with 51,053 applications in total. The statistics for 2017 and 2018 show that Greece has turned from merely a country of transit into a country of destination for asylum seekers fleeing war in the Middle East, with 58,642 and 61,760 applications submitted per year respectively.


Olga visualized the 184,642 asylum applications lodged in Greece from the beginning of the massive refugee influx in 2015 until the end of December 2018. Each document in the illustration represents 1,000 applications. Documents with green border lines are positive decisions (31,057), while documents with red border lines are negative decisions (37,568). Decisions for documents with grey border lines are still pending.

This episode was produced in the framework of the project 'Silence Hate'
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