Right to life, liberty and security of person, right to an adequate standard of living, to housing, to education, to work, to legal representation and access to justice, to asylum.
They are the basic human rights which are supported in practice, since 2019, through nine projects of the “Asylum and Migration” and “Local development and poverty reduction” Programmes in Greece.
On the occasion of Human Rights Day (December 10th) and the three-year anniversary since the beginning of the first projects, we briefly present the results of nine EEA Grants projects.
Right to life, liberty and security of person, right to an adequate standard of living, to housing, to education.
Five Civil Society Organizations (ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth, Médecins du Monde Greece, METAdrasi, Society for the Care of Minors, International Rescue Committee Hellas) have accommodated 363 unaccompanied minors and 260 vulnerable women asylum seekers, in shelters and Supported Independent Living (SIL) apartments (those corresponding to a total capacity of 207 places), throughout Greece. Apart from the safe accommodation and the provision of basic goods, the beneficiaries receive services such as psychosocial support, legal counseling, health care, empowerment and activities that prepare them for a safe living and help their integration in Greece, Greek and English courses, human rights training, artistic and recreational activities, while – in collaboration with local schools – children are registered in the education system. “By offering accommodation and individualized support to unaccompanied children, as well as single-parent families, IRC with the FUTURA project provides to vulnerable groups access to what they are entitled to. Unaccompanied boys and girls from 14 different countries are entering the Greek education system and learning how to coexist and develop. They have the space and time to dream about their future by growing their own wings.”, mentions Garyfallia Tsiara, Child Protection Manager of the IRC- Hellas.
The “Schools for all” project, which is being implemented by the European Wergeland Centre (EWC) addresses both the right to education and human rights education. Through the project, school directors and teachers are trained to create safe and inclusive schools where refugees are welcomed into a learning environment which aims to provide quality education to all. “Cultivating respect for human rights, as well as safeguarding them, should be a key objective of education in order to achieve equality and to highlight the diversity among us. The “Schools for All” project, based on the values of respect and democracy, works in this direction by providing support to teachers in schools with refugee pupils so as to foster a democratic and inclusive culture.” points out Dora Katsamori, Project Coordinator of “Schools for all”. From 2019 to 2022 the project, with a team of 4 lead trainers and 45 local trainers, supported 64 public schools with reception classes, ran 7 local academies with 198 participants, organized 100 trainings to schools with the participation of 867 teachers, while 185 professionals were trained in cooperation with the Institute of Education Policy. Finally, 454 monitoring and guidance visits by local trainers took place in schools all over Greece.
Right to work, to legal representation and access to justice, to asylum.
Athens Solidarity Center of SolidarityNow, provides support to people at risk of social marginalization and exclusion and paves the way towards their empowerment and self-reliance. During the funding cycles (2019-2021) and (2022-2023), ASC has supported more than 7600 people. Specifically, the Center has provided psychological support services to approximately 300 beneficiaries/year, accountant services to 3262 beneficiaries, employability services to 1036 beneficiaries, legal services to over 1300 beneficiaries, while more than 6300 beneficiaries have been supported by the social service. Moreover, there have been 1052 legal representations, before the Asylum Service, before the Courts and services of the Administration.
During the implementation of UNHCR project, 2019-2020, 7415 asylum seekers and refugees received legal aid, while 770 beneficiaries of international protection were supported, facilitating them in all necessary actions for the refugee status recognition.
“Greece Capacity Building” project, which is being implemented by The Norwegian Council for Refugees (NORCAP) strengthens the capacity of key government institutions in Greece ensuring the protection of vulnerable asylum seekers and their dignified reception. In the context of the project, part of which concerns the creation and operation of the National Reporting Mechanism for the protection of human trafficking victims (EMA), 760 frontline professionals have been trained.
The projects of the “Asylum and Migration” and “Local development and poverty reduction” Programmes in Greece, which have an outstanding absorption rate of 79.1%, are an undeniable proof of the exceptional cooperation and efficiency of Civil Society, and concurrently demonstrate, the urgent need of finding permanent solutions for vulnerable populations. Strengthening social cohesion and reducing economic and social inequalities are cornerstone for a society that respects its members, and guarantees human rights to all, without discrimination.
Fund operator for the “Asylum and Migration” and “Local development and poverty reduction” Programmes in Greece is SOL Crowe in cooperation with HumanRights360. More information: https://www.asylumandmigration-eeagrants.gr/
*The painting is an artwork of a woman beneficiary of the “A step forward” project, which is being implemented by Médecins du Monde Greece.