Who we are

The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) is a Non- Governmental Organization, which has been active since 1989 in the field of asylum and human rights in Greece. It was founded by Hari Brissimi* and 20 more people aiming to defend the rights of refugees in Greece.

GCR is an association recognized as a special charity, is included in the Registers of competent Ministries, has Consultative Status in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the UN since 2001 and is an operative partner of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In addition to the above, GCR is a member of the Executive Committee of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) since 1991, a member of the Separated Children in Europe Program (SCEP) while it also participates in the National Committee for Human Rights (EEDA) since 1999.

In 2005 GCR was offered an award by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Karolos Papoulias, as a “Quality Islet of Collective Action” for its contribution in the creation of volunteer and innovative, quality social work in our country.

On a daily basis, GCR welcomes and offers free legal and social advice and services to refugees and people coming from third countries who are entitled to international protection in our country, while special emphasis is put on vulnerable cases, such as unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking etc. The ultimate goal is their protection and their smooth integration in our country.

GCR’s services are offered in Athens, Thessaloniki and in the region of Evros but also in Lesvos, Kos and Herakleion - Crete. The main sources of GCR stem from European and co-financed Programs, by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, by grant making trusts as well as companies and individuals. 

 

*Hari Brissimi was the first woman in charge of an international organization as she was the Director of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. She has been honored with the Silver Medal by the Academy of Athens for her “multidimensional social activity” as well as by the Greek League for Women’s Rights with the award of the “Prize of Female Social Contribution ALIKI GIOTOPOULOU-MARAGOPOULOU” for her contribution in the field of refugee protection and care.


 

 

The Greek Council for refugees holistic approach

FIRST RECEPTION AND INTERPRETATION UNIT
As part of our ''open door policy'', an efficient team of interpreters, who act as intercultural mediators, documents, assesses the needs and refers the refugees who arrive in our offices daily to other GCR services or authorities and organizations.
DEFENDING RIGHTS
From the right to asylum and protection from detention, to demanding decent living conditions for all beneficiaries of international protection, especially vulnerable cases (victims of torture, victims of gender-based violence, minors etc.) and caring for the rights of recognized refugees, GCR's services are on the front line of human and refugee rights defense, while informing and educating the public.
LEGAL UNIT
A team of more than 70 lawyers provides a wide range of legal services to refugees and asylum seekers: from protection against detention and deportation, to access to the authorities, representation during the asylum procedure and support before Greek and international administrative and judicial authorities, while intervening with institutional and international bodies.
PSYCHOSOCIAL SUPPORT
GCR, with years of experience in supporting beneficiaries of international protection, taking into account all their material and psychological needs (food, housing, medical/psychiatric needs, legal assistance etc.) and caring especially for vulnerable cases, provides well-rounded and complete relief to every person in need of protection, through both its targeted and multidisciplinary projects.
SOCIAL SERVICES
The wide spectrum of services offered by GCR's social workers includes, among other things, assistance in family and medical emergencies, management of vulnerable cases, access to food and housing, referrals to state services and organizations, as well as work counseling and job referrals.
PROMOTING INTEGRATION
GCR supports recognized refugees in taking the first steps to a positive future through activities, courses, workshops, and guidance in finding a job. It is part of GCR’s holistic approach to help its beneficiaries to adjust to their new life.
PYXIDA INTERCULTURAL CENTER
GCR's intercultural center PYXIDA hosts a number of cultural and educational activities which are addressed to recognized refugees, such as free Greek and English lessons, educational counseling and learning support, workshops for children and adults etc. PYXIDA's primary goal is the facilitation of refugee integration into the society in which they live, to fight against isolation and social exclusion.

  

"Board of Directors"

After the meeting of the members of the Board of Directors that took place on 24/09/2021, the composition of the new Board of Directors is the following: 

 


Management and Coordination Team

Maria Papamina, Legal Unit Coordinator

Vasiliki Katrivanou, Social Unit Coordinato


GCR is registered:

a)     Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs: 

         1) In National Registry of Private Non-Profit Institutions since 2002 – No 0209

         2) In Special Registry of Voluntary Non-Governmental Organizations since 2002 – No 0179

         3) In National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA) since 20/1/2015 Institutional Certification in the provision of Social Care Services  

b)    Ministry of Migration and Asylum

        1) Register of Greek and Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) dealing with international protection, migration and social integration issues with number 170830191745 since August 2017

 


GCR maintains and undertakes to comply with: Code of Conduct as well as Internal Regulations and Policies on :

  1. Child Protection,
  2. Against Bullying and Harassment,
  3. Anti-corruption and Anti-Bribery,
  4. Grievances Policy,
  5. Whistleblowing Policy,
  6. Safeguarding Policy,
  7. Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Protection Policy,
  8. Personal Data Protection Policy

 

 

 

Our Efficiency

  • 90% Program Services
  • 10% Management

ISO Certification

 

 

Certified with ISO 9001: 20155
No. 20001210004322
by TUV Austria