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 Charis Brisimi* and another 20 of her co-citizens aiming to defend the rights of refugees in Greece.
*Charis Brisimi 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.
GCR is an association recognized as a special charity, is included in the Registers of competent Ministries, has a 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 Programme (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 Isle 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 (Orestiada, Alexandroupoli, Rodopi) but also in every entry point in Greece, when mass entries of people requiring international protection occur. The main sources of GCR stem from European and co-financed Programmes, by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, by grant making Trusts as well as companies and individuals.