Greece

Country Facts

DRC present since:

2015

Staff on location:

300

Displaced population:

120,000

Displacement Situation

More than a million people fleeing violence in the Middle East, South and Central Asia crossed Greece in 2015 trying to reach Europe, sparking a crisis as countries struggled to cope with the influx and creating division in the EU. As a result, borders within the EU and the Balkans were closed to quell the upward movement of people, and the EU – Turkey Statement of March 2016 fundamentally altered the function of the hotspots.

Since then, the Greek hotspot approach seeks to contain new arrivals to the islands, restricting access to mainland Europe. It also effectively leads to a two-track system with significant differences in context between the islands and mainland.

DRC Response 

DRC began operations in Greece in November 2015, contributing to the emergency humanitarian response at the Moria transit site on the island of Lesvos, and expanded operations to the mainland in 2016.  

With offices in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa and until January 2020 on Lesvos island, DRC is one of the key humanitarian actors operating in the country. Today, Greece struggles to ensure that reception and accommodation facilities are dignified, well staffed, culturally appropriate, and respectful of humanitarian standards. Migrants are also in need of timely information, legal aid, and integration opportunities.  As such, DRC works to close these gaps, employing evidence-based methods in responding to emergencies when needed, and supporting the Greek authorities in developing a sustainable refugee reception and integration system. 

DRC works at nine sites on the Greek mainland providing site management services, along with food, water and sanitation, protection, legal aid, and non-formal education. In urban settings, DRC supports migrants with cultural mediation and integration courses that include language and soft skills.

In cooperation with IOM Greece, DRC runs the following joint projects:

 

In cooperation with Progetto Tenda Torino, LABC, CWEP Poland and Nesta Italia, DRC runs the following joint project:

 

Contact

Claus Larsen

Regional Director

[email protected]

Alba Cauchi

Country Director

[email protected]

Vassiliki Mitsiniotou

Advocacy & Communications Advisor

[email protected]

Offices

DRC Greece

DRC Greece

[email protected]

Greece GDPR

Data Protection Office Greece

[email protected]

Projects

Downloads

Greece EU Pact Policy Brief

«Για Μία Ευρώπη που Πραγματικά Προστατεύει». Κοινό Ενημερωτικό Σημείωμα για την Πρόταση της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής περί Συνοριακού Ελέγχου

May 2021

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Το Σεπτέμβριο του 2020, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή υπέβαλε την πρότασή της για ένα νέο Σύμφωνο για τη Μετανάστευση και το Άσυλο, με την υπόσχεση για ένα «νέο ξεκίνημα» στην προσέγγιση της Ευρώπης για τη μετανάστευση. Το Σύμφωνο εισάγει μια σειρά νομοθετικών προτάσεων που εξετάζονται επί του παρόντος από το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο και το Συμβούλιο, συμπεριλαμβανομένου ενός Κανονισμού περί διεξαγωγής ελέγχου των υπηκόων τρίτων χωρών στα εξωτερικά σύνορα. Στην έκθεση, την οποία έχουν υπογράψει 12 οργανώσεις που εργάζονται στην Ελλάδα, διατυπώνονται σοβαρές ανησυχίες σχετικά με στοιχεία του προτεινόμενου κανονισμού για τον έλεγχο και επισημάνσεις από την εμπειρία μας στα ελληνικά Κέντρα Υποδοχής και Ταυτοποίησης.

Greece EU Pact Policy Brief

"For A Europe That Truly Protects." Joint NGO Policy Brief on the Screening Regulation Proposal

May 2021

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In September 2020, the European Commission presented its proposal on a new Pact on Migration and Asylum, promising a ‘fresh start’ to Europe’s approach to migration. The Pact introduced a number of legislative proposals that are currently being examined in the European Parliament and the Council, including the Regulation introducing a screening of third country nationals at the external borders. This policy brief, signed by 12 NGOs working in Greece, brings forth serious concerns about elements of the proposed Screening Regulation and highlights from our experience in the Greek hotspots.

Greece EU Pact Policy Brief

"For A Europe That Truly Protects." Policy Brief Summary

May 2021

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Greece F2L Report Social

Free2Link Report

April 2021

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DRC joined forces with Cooperativa Sociale Progetto Tenda onlus, LABC srl, CWEP and Nesta Italia in the fight against online trafficking of women and girls. This report equips professionals with insights into current knowledge of online trafficking, available tools, and recommendations on preventing and fighting e-trafficking.

New EU Migration Pact Web

Greece CEAS Caselaw Briefing Greek

April 2021

98.7 kb

Στο πλαίσιο της συζήτησης του Νέου Συμφώνου για τη Μετανάστευση και το Άσυλο, η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή τον Σεπτέμβριο 2020 κατέθεσε νομοθετικές προτάσεις, οι οποίες σε συνδυασμό με τη δέσμη προτάσεων που είχαν κατατέθηκαν προγενέστερα (2016), αποσκοπούν σε μία εις βάθος τροποποίηση του ενωσιακού κεκτημένου για το άσυλο. Με σκοπό την συμβολή στο νομοθετικό έργο μέσα από την επισήμανση των νομικών ζητημάτων και των κινδύνων που ελλοχεύουν στις κατατεθείσες νομοθετικές προτάσεις, δημοσιεύεται στο παρόν σημείωμα μία σύνοψη της πρόσφατης νομολογίας των διοικητικών δικαστηρίων σχετικά με την ερμηνεία των ισχυουσών διατάξεων που αφορούν τη διαδικασία των συνόρων, τον ανασταλτικό χαρακτήρα των ένδικων βοηθημάτων και μέσων, καθώς και τη διοικητική κράτηση.

New EU Migration Pact Web

Greece CEAS Case Law Briefing English

April 2021

99.4 kb

In September 2020, as part of the New Pact on Migration and Asylum, the European Commission tabled legislative proposals aiming, in conjunction with the package of proposals presented in 2016, at an in-depth reform of the EU asylum acquis. This note provides an overview of recent jurisprudence of the Greek administrative courts on the interpretation of provisions in force governing the border procedure, the suspensive effect of remedies, as well as administrative detention. The note aims to contribute to the legislative process by highlighting legal issues and risks in the Commission proposals.

Greece Open Letter Access To Education Copyright Tdh

Ανοιχτή επιστολή για την πρόσβαση των παιδιών προσφύγων στην εκπαίδευση / Open letter on refugee children's access to education

March 2021

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H DRC Greece μαζί με 32 οργανώσεις εκφράζουμε βαθιά ανησυχία για την κατάσταση που επικρατεί στην Ελλάδα που επικρατεί τα τελευταία χρόνια σχετικά με την πρόσβαση και τη συμπερίληψη παιδιών αιτούντων άσυλο και προσφύγων στην εκπαίδευση. / DRC Greece along with 32 organisations express deep concern about the situation relating to asylum seeking and refugee children’s access to education in Greece over the past few years.

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup18

The Workings of the Screening Regulation

January 2021

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DRC and 7 other Greece-based NGOs worked on a comparative analysis that focusses on the proposed Screening Regulation and the Greek reception and identification procedure applied on the islands and the Evros land border.

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup11

Joint NGO letter (Greek)

October 2020

663.8 kb

Θέμα: Ανοιχτή επιστολή προς τους Έλληνες Βουλευτές για διερεύνηση των αυθαιρεσιών στα σύνορα

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup11

Joint NGO letter

October 2020

526 kb

Open Letter to Members of the Hellenic Parliament Calling for an Investigation into Border Abuses

DRC Child Safeguarding Policy

DRC Child Safeguarding Policy

July 2020

891.4 kb

DRC believes that everyone has a responsibility to promote the welfare of all children and young people, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. This policy addresses the area of child safeguarding.

Greece annual report 2019_ΕΤΗΣΙΑ ΕΚΘΕΣΗ ΠΕΠΡΑΓΜΕΝΩΝ_2019

Greece annual report 2019_ΕΤΗΣΙΑ ΕΚΘΕΣΗ ΠΕΠΡΑΓΜΕΝΩΝ_2019

March 2021

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Greece financial state_DRC ΧΡΗΜ ΚΑΤ 2019

Greece financial state_DRC ΧΡΗΜ ΚΑΤ 2019

March 2021

476.4 kb

Greece annual report 2018_ΕΤΗΣΙΑ ΕΚΘΕΣΗ ΠΕΠΡΑΓΜΕΝΩΝ_2018_ΕΛΛ_ΑΓΓΛΙΚΑ

Greece annual report 2018_ΕΤΗΣΙΑ ΕΚΘΕΣΗ ΠΕΠΡΑΓΜΕΝΩΝ_2018_ΕΛΛ_ΑΓΓΛΙΚΑ

March 2021

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Greece financial state_DRC ΧΡΗΜ ΚΑΤ 2018

Greece financial state_DRC ΧΡΗΜ ΚΑΤ 2018

March 2021

455.6 kb

Greece statute_ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ_ΑΜΚΕ_DRC GREECE

Greece statute_ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ_ΑΜΚΕ_DRC GREECE

August 2020

644.6 kb

Press Releases

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup29

“Ασφαλής” η Τουρκία, ανασφαλείς οι πρόσφυγες: Η ουσιαστική εξέταση των αιτήσεων ασύλου είναι η μόνη ασφαλής λύση για άτομα που χρήζουν διεθνούς προστασίας.

June 2021

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Με νέα ΚΥΑ που εκδόθηκε στις 7 Ιουνίου, η ελληνική Πολιτεία ορίζει την Τουρκία ως «ασφαλή τρίτη χώρα» για οικογένειες, άντρες, γυναίκες και παιδιά που αιτούνται διεθνή προστασία στη χώρα μας, προερχόμενοι από πέντε χώρες, ακόμα και με υψηλά ποσοστά αναγνώρισης διεθνούς προστασίας, όπως η Συρία, το Αφγανιστάν και η Σομαλία. Με αυτή την απόφαση πρακτικά παγιώνεται η πολιτική αποποίησης της ευθύνης προστασίας των προσφύγων στην Ευρώπη, ακόμη και των ασυνόδευτων παιδιών, στο πλαίσιο που τέθηκε ήδη από την εφαρμογή της Κοινής Δήλωσης ΕΕ-Τουρκίας, το Μάρτιο του 2016.

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup29

Greece deems Turkey “safe”, but refugees are not: The substantive examination of asylum applications is the only safe solution for refugees

June 2021

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With a new Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD) issued on 7 June, the Greek State designates Turkey as a “safe third country” for families, men, women and children of five nationalities seeking international protection in Greece. It is noted that the JMD applies even to those from countries with high recognition rates for international protection, such as Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. This decision reinforces the policy established by the March 2016 EU-Turkey Statement that shifts the responsibility to protect refugees, including unaccompanied children, arriving in Europe to third countries.

Logo F2l

5 organisations in Europe join forces to combat online trafficking of women

December 2020

196.2 kb

Logo F2l

5 οργανώσεις στην Ευρώπη ενώνουν δυνάμεις για την καταπολέμηση της εμπορίας γυναικών στο διαδίκτυο

December 2020

238.7 kb

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup21

MORIA FIRES: European Governments must urgently relocate displaced individuals from Greece

September 2020

128.3 kb

Urgent Call to Action from Civil Society Organisations across Europe

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup11

Joint NGO press release

October 2020

153.8 kb

Greece: Investigate Pushbacks, Violence at Borders

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup11

Joint NGO press release (Greek)

October 2020

202.1 kb

Ελλάδα: Ερευνήστε τις επαναπροωθήσεις και τη βία στα σύνορα

Lesbos Moriacamp Grarup10

Κοινό ΔT: Aστεγία και στέρηση για χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες / Joint PR: Risk of homelessness and destitution for thousands refugees

December 2020

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Το Δανικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες μαζί 72 ακόμη οργανώσεις τονίζουν τον κίνδυνο αστεγίας και στέρησης για χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες αυτόν τον χειμώνα / DRC and 72 organisations stress that thousands of refugees in Greece still face homelessness and destitution

Snapshots

A challenging year

2020 was a challenging year. But we tried hard.

A challenging year

2020 was a challenging year. But we tried hard.

HELIOS National Sensitization Campaign

Μπορούμε να δώσουμε πολλά ο ένας στον άλλο. Κυρίως τον καλύτερό μας εαυτό.

HELIOS National Sensitization Campaign

Μπορούμε να δώσουμε πολλά ο ένας στον άλλο. Κυρίως τον καλύτερό μας εαυτό.

After her fist certificate in English Zahra aims for more!

Zahra Foroughi arrived in Greece three years ago and joined the DRC English courses when she moved in Koutsochero hosting site. DRC has been offering non formal education courses for refugee adults in nine mainland camps in 2020. After hard work and with her teacher’s support, she passed her first exam. This means she can understand matters encountered in work, school, or leisure. She can also deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling and she is able to describe her experiences, ambitions, and dreams. Zahra continues to study English and wants to be an architect. She thinks women should not be afraid to dream big. “I believe women should persist, be better informed and learn different languages,” she says.

After her fist certificate in English Zahra aims for more!

Zahra Foroughi arrived in Greece three years ago and joined the DRC English courses when she moved in Koutsochero hosting site. DRC has been offering non formal education courses for refugee adults in nine mainland camps in 2020. After hard work and with her teacher’s support, she passed her first exam. This means she can understand matters encountered in work, school, or leisure. She can also deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling and she is able to describe her experiences, ambitions, and dreams. Zahra continues to study English and wants to be an architect. She thinks women should not be afraid to dream big. “I believe women should persist, be better informed and learn different languages,” she says.

Greece Zahra Koutsochero
Refugee mothers in Greece

What does it mean to be a mother? Refugee women in Greece share their experience.

Refugee mothers in Greece

What does it mean to be a mother? Refugee women in Greece share their experience.

Cultural Mediators support refugees in Greece

Cultural mediators in Greece support refugees in and out of camp settings. They are there to interpret, mediate, explain and help them navigate the Greek public services and their new surroundings.

Cultural Mediators support refugees in Greece

Cultural mediators in Greece support refugees in and out of camp settings. They are there to interpret, mediate, explain and help them navigate the Greek public services and their new surroundings.

When I grow up

Refugee students in love going to school, being with their friends, and dream of what they will be when they grow up. And they give us a taste!

When I grow up

Refugee students in love going to school, being with their friends, and dream of what they will be when they grow up. And they give us a taste!

Refugees are in need of legal aid in Greece

Refugees and asylum seekers need support to navigate the asylum system, to access documentation or reunite with family members. DRC has provided legal aid services in Greece since 2016.

Refugees are in need of legal aid in Greece

Refugees and asylum seekers need support to navigate the asylum system, to access documentation or reunite with family members. DRC has provided legal aid services in Greece since 2016.

Creative activities in the Schisto camp

Greece is home to large numbers of refugees from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. On a mandate from the Greek authorities, the Danish Refugee Council runs a number of camps where we provide everything from food, shelter and sanitation to local democracy, counselling and education. Pictured above, one of our staff performs creative activities with some of the children in the Schisto camp.

Creative activities in the Schisto camp

Greece is home to large numbers of refugees from countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. On a mandate from the Greek authorities, the Danish Refugee Council runs a number of camps where we provide everything from food, shelter and sanitation to local democracy, counselling and education. Pictured above, one of our staff performs creative activities with some of the children in the Schisto camp.

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