d. Freedom of Movement
The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights.
In-country Movement: Undocumented migrants arriving at Greek islands were subjected to special border reception and registration procedures and were not allowed to leave registration centers for up to 25 days. After this period, undocumented migrants remaining in those facilities were generally allowed to enter and exit but were prohibited from travelling to the mainland unless they filed asylum applications deemed admissible by the asylum authorities or were identified as “vulnerable.” This group included unaccompanied minors; persons with disabilities; the elderly; pregnant women or those who recently gave birth; single parents with young children; victims of torture, shipwrecks, and other trauma; and victims of human trafficking. Once asylum applications were filed, found admissible, and in process, migrants could move to an accommodation center on the mainland, space permitting. There was no restriction on movement in or out of the mainland accommodation centers. As of September, however, no facilities were available on the mainland even though approximately 7,000 migrants had been deemed vulnerable. The government made efforts to increase placements in the mainland and decongest the island reception and registration facilities, but a steady flow of arrivals, which accelerated during the summer and fall, caused severe overcrowding.
Some local and international NGOs reiterated criticism of the government’s practice of confining asylum seekers to the islands for initial processing exceeding 25 days.
Unaccompanied minors were placed under “protective custody” due to lack of space in specialized shelters (see section 1, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, Physical Conditions).