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The human right to health for asylum seekers in the framework of International, European and National Law: the case of Greece

The human right to health for asylum seekers in the framework of International, European and National Law: the case of Greece
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Presenter(s) Ms Faye Ververidou, PhD student, School of Law, TUoS
Seminar type Research Student Seminar
Location SEERC C.R., Koromila Building
Date and time 02/04/2019, 16:00-17:00
Website http://

Academic discourses surrounding the treatment of asylum seekers and their human rights within the territory of the receiving state have been multi-disciplinary, contentious and long-standing. Recent developments in Europe have further steered the academic and legislative interest towards the direction of migration. Greece has undertaken an instrumental role in the contemporary crisis, serving as the entry point for the vast majority of asylum seekers arriving from the Middle East. However, the severely afflicted health systems of the EU Member States, which have suffered a steep decrease in the health personnel, resources and amenities due to the global financial crisis, did not have the means to respond to the health needs of the newly arrived asylum seekers. In this light, it is not sufficient to examine the complex legislative framework on health rights without looking at the way that this legislation is applied in practice. And yet, legal scholars are generally reluctant to extend human rights research beyond the law in books, thus hampering the identification of practical malfunctions in the existing laws and policies. Hence, this research aims to investigate and evaluate the human right to health for asylum seekers within the framework of international, European and Greek law, as well as to examine the practical enforceability of this right in Greece in the context of the contemporary refugee crisis. To analyse the legal norms and understand the interplay of multilevel legal bodies, doctrinal legal research will be employed, whereas the real enjoyment of the right to health will be explored through semi-structured interviews with asylum seekers and health professionals. By doing so, the thesis aspires to redress the existing gap and to contribute to the concurrent efforts for law and policy reform with a view to enhancing the practical protection of fundamental health rights for migrant populations. Finally, it is expected to enrich the existing literature on the understanding of the right to health for this particularly vulnerable group of migrants.

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