Dire living conditions for asylum seekers living outside the overcrowded reception & identification center in Samos island.

Asylum & migration: Challenges and good practices during the COVID-19 pandemic Eight civil society organisations discuss on the occasion of the World Refugee Day

On the occasion of the World Refugee Day (June 20), the Fund operator of “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” and “Asylum and Migration” programmes in Greece, SOL Crowe and HumanRights360, organizes the online event “Asylum & migration: Challenges and good practices during the COVID-19 pandemic”, on Tuesday, June 22, at 14:00.

This is a common event of the Fund Operator and the civil society organisations funded by EEA Grants, the first in a series of actions, which will follow until the end of the programmes, in 2024.

The participant organisations are ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, International Rescue Committee Hellas, Médecins du Monde Greece, METAdrasi, SMAN – Society for the Care of Minors and Youth, SolidarityNow, NORCAP/ NRC, and The European Wergeland Centre (EWC).

During the event, the organisations will share the challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for both beneficiaries and employees in the refugee field, and they will present best practices and updated data for the open accomondation centers and Supported Independent Living (SIL) apartments of unaccompanied children and vulnerable asylum seeking women. Special focus will be given to the role of school and the access to education for refugee children. Two beneficiaries of the programmes will also participate in the event.

The event will be held in Greek via zoom platform.

The “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” and the “Asylum and Migration” (Addressing urgent needs for the reception and screening of asylum seekers and for the accommodation of vulnerable groups) programmes in Greece, which are awarded a total budget of 23 million euros as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021, aspire to contribute to the enhancement of social cohesion and reduction of economic and social disparities, as well as to ensure legal protection, support and care for the most vulnerable asylum seekers, with emphasis on unaccompanied children.

Projects’ update

There are eight projects on progress, five of which concern open accomondation centers and SIL apartments for unaccompanied children and vulnerable asylum seeking women. To date, of the 170 beneficiaries, 147 are unaccompanied minors. The accomondation centers and apartments are provided by ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, International Rescue Committee Hellas, Médecins du Monde Greece, METAdrasi and SMAN – Society for the Care of Minors and Youth.

 

The Greece Capacity Building Project of NORCAP, aims to support the asylum seekers’ Reception and Identification Service (RIS) and to enhance capacity of the National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA), by deploying experts and advisors, at the headquarters, as well as at the camps in multiple locations all over Greece. To date, 17 experts have been deployed and 800 first line employees have been trained, aiming to protect vulnerable asylum seekers, especially human trafficking victims and unaccompanied minors.

With the support of the EEA Grants, SolidarityNow has continued and strengthened the provision of services at the Athens Solidarity Center. The general objective of the project is to provide holistic support to 10,000 people individuals at risk of social marginalization and exclusion and pave the way towards their empowerment and self-reliance, for a period of two years.

The Schools for All project aims to promote a more democratic and inclusive school environment, where refugee students feel safe and welcome. It is an innovative educational program, offering scientific training and support to school directors, teachers and parents on issues related to democratic citizenship, inclusion in the educational environment and human rights. So far, 18 secondary schools have participated in the project.

The projects, funded by EEA Grants, have a different degree of maturity: The projects of the International Organization for Migration and the Municipality of Athens are expected to start by the end of the year, while the project of the UNHCR has been completed, having provided legal support to 7.415 people.

More information about the “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” programme here and the “Asylum and Migration” programme here.

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