The right to health : a case study of unaccompanied children and the challenges of minimum access to healthcare in Greece

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Bitter, Jennifer
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The following master thesis is about the elaboration of the right to health for unaccompanied children (UAC) in Greece, the country within the European Union (EU) which faced high pressure following the so-called refugee crisis in 2015. Key players and supporters to reach and fulfill the standards of the right to health are the EU and the Council of Europe (CoE), who adopted legal instruments on fundamental rights and created Action Plans including the right to health to support and guide but also to monitor states in their protection, promotion and fulfillment of human rights system. Internationally there are more institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) and other United Nations institutions, that set a focus on adequate health care access for refugees throughout the globe – inter alia aiming for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Besides the legal framework this thesis emphasizes on the margin of appreciation of the states, as well as challenges within Greece, especially considering the change of government and connected decisions regarding the health care system in July 2019. The work of Non-Governmental-Organizations (NGOs) as a parallel healthcare system to the national and local healthcare system will be part of this thesis and will show the practical challenges and barriers within the country. COVID-19 as well as age assessment procedures will be used as examples that unaccompanied minors are exposed to a higher risk of an insufficient protection and access to healthcare. The situation of unaccompanied children in detention will also be examined in order to elaborate current circumstances and challenges regarding access to medical healthcare for those detained on the Greek islands as well as homeless children on the mainland. Furthermore, the solidarity as an EU principle regarding medical care support in the asylum and migration process in Greece, will also be discussed
Second semester University: Panteion University, Athens
unaccompained migrant children, right to health, Greece, medical care