EMARGOED Until 26-10-2021, 14:00 Athens Time

Denying food: instead of receiving protection people go hungry on EU soil


                                                                       JOINT OPEN LETTER





                                                                                                                                          Athens, October 26, 2021

We, the undersigned humanitarian, human rights and civil society organizations and initiatives wish to express our deep collective concerns regarding the latest policy implemented by the Greek government since October 1st that has excluded thousands of persons from essential food provision. Organizations working on the ground estimate that almost 60% of the residents of the Greek refugee camps on the mainland no longer have access to either sufficient or suitable food. This is causing severe distress and putting vulnerable people at risk. One in four (25%) of the residents in refugee facilities on the Greek mainland are women (including pregnant women and single-headed families) while 40% are children[1].

Friday, 22 October 2021 12:48

Certificate of Appreciation

In October 2021 Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) has proudly received a Certificate of Appreciation from its esteemed donor organization World Jewish Relief.

The Certification is in recognition of GCR’s ongoing dedication and support to deliver shared programmes and its contribution to the aims, objectives, and values of World Jewish Relief, empowering people to bounce back from adversities.

We would like to express our gratitude to World Jewish Relief for the ongoing support to our organization.


Tuesday, 19 October 2021 10:30

Are you eligible to eat?

The Greek government should immediately disburse belated payments of cash assistance and ensure food provision to people living in facilities (e.g. camps and ESTIA apartments), irrespective of their legal status. Depriving them of this basic human right is shameful and a violation of fundamental human rights. 


Athens, October 18, 2021 - In a new bleak turn of events, people that seek or have received international protection in Greece, are now deprived of food or their cash allowance, due to the policies pursued by the Greek government and an overall lack of preparation to undertake its obligations. 


Those excluded from food provision reside in the camps and include people with valid refugee status, people who have not yet been registered in the reception system, and those individuals whose request for asylum has been rejected. Among those left hungry are 25% women (including pregnant women), single-headed families, 40% children, chronic patients, and patients with special medical and nutritional conditions. In some places, food is not even provided to those put in quarantine due to COVID 19. 


Although recognised refugees and the individuals whose request for asylum has been rejected should not be living in camps, many are forced to remain or return there, due to a lack of alternatives, reflecting Greece’s ongoing lack of a comprehensive integration strategy. The situation is similar for many people who have not yet been able to register their asylum applications, due to the chronic delays encountered in the Asylum Offices on the Greek mainland. 


Furthermore, thousands of asylum seekers included in food provision in Greek state-run accommodation, receive catered meals because of the temporary cash assistance gap. EU-funded cash assistance was planned to transition from UNHCR to the Greek government on 1 July 2021 but a 3-month delay was agreed between the two parties, to ensure a smooth transition. On October 1st 2021, the Greek government undertook this responsibility, as per the Greek state’s legal obligation to ensure minimum material reception conditions for asylum seekers. Yet, since this handover, about 36,000 people have not received their cash support, despite the fact that this transition was planned over a year ago. In an attempt to cover this gap, asylum seekers have been receiving portions of food, reportedly of very poor quality and often not fully cooked. 



Το Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες (ΕΣΠ)

σε συνεργασία με το : Ελληνικό Φόρουμ Προσφύγων και την Κοινότητα Αφγανών Μεταναστών και Προσφύγων στην Ελλάδα

διοργανώνουν ανοιχτή διαδικτυακή συζήτηση με θέμα :

« Τι συμβαίνει στο Αφγανιστάν; Μια υπόθεση που μας αφορά »

Τρίτη 19 Οκτωβρίου 2021

Ώρα: 19:00-21:00

Διαδικτυακή πλατφόρμα zoom, κατόπιν εγγραφής στο:


(με ταυτόχρονη διερμηνεία στα ελληνικά)


Livestreaming μέσω της σελίδας: https://www.facebook.com/gcr.gr


Palwasha Ashrafi, Μέλος ΔΣ του Ελληνικού Φόρουμ Προσφύγων, Αιτούσα Άσυλο στην Ελλάδα

Reyhaneh Ganji, Αντιπρόεδρος Κοινότητας Αφγανών Μεταναστών και Προσφύγων στην Ελλάδα

Ρεζά Γκολαμί, Συγγραφέας

Νασίμ Λομανί, Μέλος του Στεκιού Μεταναστών

Mariam Zamani, Αιτούσα Άσυλο στην Τουρκία



Συντονίζει ο Υπεύθυνος Συνηγορίας του ΕΣΠ, 

   Βασίλης Παπαστεργίου.

Πέρα από τις αυτονόητες γεωπολιτικές επιπτώσεις της πρόσφατης πτώσης της Καμπούλ, η επικράτηση των Ταλιμπάν έφερε κοντά μας μια σειρά από εικόνες και μαρτυρίες συνανθρώπων μας που βρίσκονται σε κίνδυνο για την διεκδίκηση και μόνο βασικών ανθρώπινων δικαιωμάτων. Η εμπειρία από το προηγούμενο καθεστώς των Ταλιμπάν αλλά και οι πρόσφατες αγριότητες υποδεικνύουν πως η ζωή και η ελευθερία χιλιάδων αμάχων και ιδιαίτερα γυναικών βρίσκεται σε κίνδυνο  λόγω των θρησκευτικών πεποιθήσεών τους, της εθνοτικής καταγωγής τους, του φύλου και του σεξουαλικού προσανατολισμού τους ή των πολιτικών τους πεποιθήσεων.

Οι δραματικές αυτές εξελίξεις επαναφέρουν στην δημόσια συζήτηση την αξία μιας σύμφωνης με τις ανθρωπιστικές αξίες και το διεθνές δίκαιο στάσης απέναντι σε ένα πιθανό νέο προσφυγικό ρεύμα από το Αφγανιστάν. Οι Αφγανοί και οι Αφγανές που κινδυνεύουν έχουν ανάγκη από ασφαλείς οδούς διαφυγής και όχι από φράχτες και τείχη. Και έχουν μια νόμιμη αξίωση η ενδεχόμενη αίτησή τους για προστασία να εξεταστεί δίκαια και ουσιαστικά.


Πέντε Αφγανοί/ές ομιλητές /τριες, συμμετέχουν σε ανοιχτή διαδικτυακή συζήτηση την Τρίτη 19 Οκτωβρίου 2021 και καταθέτουν την δική τους μαρτυρία για την σημερινή πραγματικότητα της χώρας τους. Μέσα από την προσωπική εμπειρία τους, οι ομιλητές θα επιχειρήσουν να αναδείξουν τα συγκεκριμένα προβλήματα των ανθρώπων που ζουν στο Αφγανιστάν και να μας μεταφέρουν την εκεί πραγματικότητα.

Athens, 7 October 2021 – Today, the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) filed judicial review applications before the Greek Council of State for the annulment of the Joint Ministerial Decision of the Minister of Migration and Asylum and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of 7 June 2021. The Decision designated Turkey as a safe third country for nationals of Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.


The Joint Ministerial Decision attempts to dismantle Greece’s obligation to assess asylum applications from refugees originating from said countries on their merits, in stark contravention of the rule of law, of the Constitution and of its international obligations, under a procedure contrary to EU law standards.


This Decision has already resulted in mass, rapid rejection of asylum seekers from the above five countries, who account for over 67% of asylum applicants in the country. The policy has not been revisited in light of recent developments in Afghanistan and the reinstatement of the Taliban regime.

Read the Press Release here

Δεκατρείς οργανώσεις της Κοινωνίας των Πολιτών που δραστηριοποιούνται στη Σάμο, μεταξύ των οποίων και το Ελληνικό Συμβούλιο για τους Πρόσφυγες, εκφράζουν την ανησυχία τους για τη μη πρόβλεψη ασφαλούς χώρου διαμονής για μόνες γυναίκες ή μόνες μητέρες με παιδιά, στη νέα κλειστή δομή που θα λειτουργήσει στη Σάμο.

Σε κοινή επιστολή που απέστειλαν στον κ. Δημήτριο Αξιώτη, Διοικητή ΚΥΤ Σάμου και τον κ. Εμμανουήλ Λογοθέτη, Γενικό Γραμματέα Υποδοχής Αιτούντων Άσυλο στο Υπουργείο Μετανάστευσης και Ασύλου, τονίζουν ότι αυτή η εξέλιξη «θα έχει αρνητικό αντίκτυπο στις ζωές των γυναικών (…) πολλές εκ των οποίων έχουν επιζήσει από περιστατικά έμφυλης βίας στη χώρα καταγωγής ή/και το ταξίδι» και χρήζουν προστασίας.

Covid-19 restrictions further excluded refugees and migrants from education

Athens – 15 September 2021 – Greece is effectively excluding refugee and asylum-seeking children from school and is denying their right to an education, Save the Children and the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) said today.

The two organisations called for urgent action by the Greek government and the European Union to address the shockingly low numbers of refugee children attending school. Lack of sufficient staffing, absence of transport arrangements, and community hostility have been compounded by the impact of Covid-19, creating the perfect storm ahead of the new school year.

45 civil society organisations urge EU institutions and national governments to abandon policies that contain people seeking asylum at Europe’s borders and to instead facilitate asylum seekers’ social inclusion and subsequent integration. They must fulfil their commitments to share responsibility for ensuring displaced people’s adequate reception and protection, in line with EU and international law and reverse the extension of containment policies represented by the new reception facilities under construction. Where new or adapted structures are already in place, measures must be taken to ensure that they create conditions that meet EU and international standards.
A true show of EU solidarity would build bridges between communities, not walls.


As European NGOs working on asylum and migration and Afghan Diaspora organisations in Europe, we are alarmed about the situation in Afghanistan and concerned above all about the security of the people of Afghanistan, both those within the country and those displaced and seeking protection in the region and beyond.

The vast majority of displaced Afghans will likely be hosted in the neighbouring countries, as has been the case over decades of displacement from Afghanistan. For reference, since 2015, over six years, 570,000 Afghans sought protection in the EU and associated countries. The majority received a protection status. In contrast, by July 2021, Iran hosted 800,000 registered refugees and up to 3 million other displaced Afghans. In Pakistan, there were 1.4 million registered refugees and up to 2 million other displaced Afghans. These figures have been increasing by the day. In addition, there are close to 5.5 million IDPs in the country.


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