From EU Observer: Human rights groups say the Greek government is pressuring rejected asylum seekers hosted on the Greek islands to take cash incentives and leave the country rather than appeal their cases.
The largely EU-funded effort gives each individual 1,000 euros and a free plane ticket to their country of origin.
A lawyer with Save The Children said, “This is quite complicated and quite immoral.”
People have five days to decide whether to take the cash, but cases are emerging that claim even a short delay is not being respected by authorities.
Asylum seekers had previously been entitled to the returns assistance even if they appealed their rejected claim.
The cash deal also only applies to refugees and migrants who are in so-called EU hotspots on the islands of Chios, Kos, Leros, Lesvos, and Samos.
Greek minister of migration Ioannis Mouzalas dismissed the criticism, saying the cash incentives are needed to prevent false claimants from abusing the asylum system.
The new rule that excludes asylum seekers who appeal their cases was imposed last month. It was reportedly added after the European Commission pressured Athens into sending more people back to Turkey or to their countries of origin.