Empowering actions and trainings

In the past three decades, GCR has been established as the most specialized Greek organization active in the refugee field. For 30 years, GCR has been offering its services towards people in need of international protection, and has gained tremendous experience in the provision of social and legal services.

At the same time, the Greek Council for Refugees invests in the training of its employees, so they can be up–to-date with the latest developments and procedures on the issues in hand and be adequately trained to be able to deal with any issue.



FAIR PLUS: Fostering Access to Immigrant’s Rights – Practical training for Lawyers and Judges

Implementation Period:

1/12/2018 - 1/12/2021

Funded by:



  1. Contribute to the effective and consistent judicial application of EU fundamental rights legislation through the training of judges and other legal practitioners in the target countries (Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy, Greece).
  2. Increase the knowledge of judges, lawyers and other legal experts on EU law and international law on fundamental rights of migrants.

    3. Strengthen networks and exchange of views between national trainers, judges, lawyers and other relevant lawyers within and between target countries.


  • 2 train the trainers
  • 8 national educational activities
  • Development of 5 training modules and 1 promotional video for dissemination
  • Writing and publishing 3 legal updates
  • 1 Round table with international holdings
  • 1 event to complete the project and present the results


  • 12 trainers will participate in trainers training
  • 200 judges and other legal professionals will be trained
  • A network of at least 150 members will be established
  • Promotional video, 5 training modules and 3 legal updates will be widely disseminated

Sigrid Rausing Trust Grant

Ημερομηνία: Ιανουάριος 2014 - Δεκέμβριος 2020


Χώρα: Ελλάδα

Sigrid Rausing Trust

Στόχοι: Υποστήριξη  στο έργο και το σκοπό του ΕΣΠ
  • Ανάπτυξη της οργάνωσης
  • Υποστήριξη έκτακτων αναγκών των επωφελούμενων
  • Επιμόρφωση του προσωπικού του ΕΣΠ μέσω της παρακολούθησης σεμιναρίων σε εθνικό και διεθνές επίπεδο.

Μέσω της δωρεάς, το ΕΣΠ θα προβεί σε ενέργειες ανάπτυξης της οργάνωσης και συνεχούς επιμόρφωσης του προσωπικού του. Επίσης αυτό θα έχει ως επακόλουθο την καλύτερη υποστήριξη των εκτάκτων αναγκών των ατόμων που χρήζουν διεθνούς προστασίας.


Dissemination activities of the Council of Europe toolkit ‘Linguistic integration of adult migrants’


Implementation Period:

1/7/2018 – 30/11/2018


Council of Europe (financing)

Place of implementation:



The project is part of the Council of Europe's education programmes focusing on promoting linguistic diversity. It concerns the linguistic integration of adult immigrants and provides support to those working to facilitate the integration of migrants into civil society.


The Council of Europe has developed a toolbox to help organisations, in particular volunteers, who provide language support to adult refugees, to teach the reception language in such a way as to meet the needs of different frameworks. The Greek Council for Refugees piloted this tool and used it in the educational process.  The teachers of PYXIDA used the toolbox in Greek courses and provided training to volunteers to apply it to their own departments.

The instructors of PYXIDA in addition presented the toolbox in 2 seminars organized by the organization "Symbiosis", and provided guidance to trainers and volunteers of other organizations.


The application of the toolbox had a positive influence on students and volunteers. It is a practical and useful tool that meets the needs of refugees. GCR has integrated the toolbox in its educational process, especially in Greek courses for beginners.

Fundamental Rights in Practice: European Judicial Training on the rights of persons in need of international protection

Period of implementation: 2016-2018

Fundamental Rights in Practice: European Judicial Training on the rights of persons in need of international protection

 Countries of implementation:





1. The development of practice-oriented training modules, based on a participatory needs assessment. Training modules will focus on three topics: Administrative detention of third country nationals, procedures of asylum law, racism and xenophobia
2. A train the trainers workshop by EU Experts to partner national NGO staff
3. The monitoring, evaluation and improvement of the training modules 
4. The dissemination of the training modules through their translation into 6 languages
5. The development of contacts and the creation of close synergies between judicial trainers, national experts and legal practitioners throughout Europe.


The project aims to enhance the drive towards a common legal and judicial culture in EU through the implementation of practice-oriented training activities on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and CFD, promoting the creation of a European space of justice that secures the minimum standards of protection for the most vulnerable.
In order to encourage the protection of fundamental rights, that is an imperative need for the welfare of persons in need of international protection, and emphasize the obligations arising from the EU Charter and CFD, three topics-cornerstones of the management of mixed migration policies - have been selected. To contribute to the successful completion of the aforementioned objectives, the GCR has foreseen a participatory and interactive approach to the training of the judiciary and will develop standardized training modules, which reflect the real needs and the obstacles encountered on the ground.

  • An increased awareness among legal practitioners and within the broader legal community of participating partner Member States regarding the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • A better understanding of the importance of the implementation and protection of the rights enshrined in the EU Charter and the procedures described in CF 
  • Enhancement of knowledge on how to best situate and implement the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights within the existing national legislative framework regarding the subject areas of the project. 
  • An in-depth understanding of the state of protection of rights of refugees.
  • Another developed cooperation and networking between all stakeholders in order to create a common European idea regarding the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in connection with asylum, racism and xenophobia.
  • A practical, ready-to-use interactive training material that can be implemented in all Member States and can be updated along the development of EU legislation in order to remain constantly useful.
  • Increased cooperation between NGOs and members of the judiciary, both at the EU level, but also at the level of Member States.
  • «Asylum, hate crimes, administrative detention for foreigners: lackings - challenges -new approaches»  Announcement  -  Invitation
  • 2-day Final Event for the program: «Fundamental Rights in Practice: European Judicial Training on the rights of persons in need of international protection»  Invitation - Agenda
 Training Modules:

Educational material on access to justice for refugee children produced during the project is available here https://www.icj.org/training-materials-on-access-to-justice-for-migrant- children/ . Educational units can help lawyers representing refugee children increase their knowledge of children's rights, increase their understanding of the use of international refugee appeal mechanisms, and provide some advice on child rights , how to communicate effectively with the children themselves. The modules are available in English, Spanish, Greek, Bulgarian, German and Italian. The educational material in Greek is available at the following links:

Europe-FAIR module 0-Training modules-2018-GRE
Europe-FAIR module 1-Training modules-2018-GRE
Europe-FAIR module 2-Training modules-2018-GRE
Europe-FAIR module 3-Training modules-2018-GRE
Europe-FAIR module 4-Training modules-2018-GRE
Europe-FAIR module 5-Training modules-2018-GRE
Europe-FAIR module 6-Training modules-2018-GRE

Community Workers

Implementation period: 1/1/2016 - 30/6/2017
Collaborators: UNHCR
Country of implementation: Greece
Aims: Enhance communication with, and strengthen the capacity of, communities of persons of concern in Athens accommodated in temporary accommodation sites in Athens.
  • The Greek Forum for Refugees, in cooperation with GCR, has dispatched a team of 32 community workers from the existing refugee community in Athens to assist the Site Managers designated by the Greek authorities, as well as other NGO and UNHCR staff active in the sites, in establishing two-way communication between site managers, NGO services’ providers and Persons of Concern residing in the sites.
  • Enhance communication with communities of persons arriving from the islands to Athens and accommodated in the temporary transit sites, and strengthen communities ability to deal with the situation in the field;
  • Strengthen, support and empower refugee community workers and the refugee community in Athens
Results: Provision of targeted information to Site Managers and UNHCR staff on the situation on the ground, that will ensure that this team is able to consistently exchange knowledge and information to the benefit of persons residing in these sites, ensuring meanwhile that those most vulnerable are provided with the protective framework they deserve.
Supporting University Community pathways for Refugees-migrants

Implementation Period:

September 2016 - August 2018


  • University of Cologne, Germany
  • VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The Program focuses on the processes of language preparation and knowledge testing required for the proper integration of refugees / migrants in Higher Education for both students and teachers, as well as in supporting their academic needs after their integration.

In addition, it focuses on the psychosocial integration / support of refugees / migrants, as well as on their proper information on legal and medical issues when entering and / or staying in European host countries. The Program aims to create educational material that will be prepared and used appropriately by professors and higher education institutions for the above purposes.


Intellectual Output 1: Higher Education Qualification and Appli­cation Procedures for Refugee Applicants:

IO1 analyses the admissions criteria and pro­cesses for refugees / migrants currently established by European Higher Institutions; and looks into preparatory programmes that can serve as intermediary solutions for refugees’ integration in university degree programmes. The main interest group is refugees / migrants looking to be admitted to an insti­tution of higher education or seeking support from such an institution. 

Intellectual Output 2: Institutional Support for Refugee Students in Higher Education:

IO2 is concerned with refugee / migrant students that have been admitted to a university programme. This student group faces challenges in navigating the European universi­ty structure such as language barriers, financial hurdles, cultural differences and the newness of the European university structure. This output looks into the university structure and student support systems, in order to identify and im­prove upon the needs of this particular student population. 

Intellectual Output 3: Institutional Support for Refugee Scholars in Higher Education:

IO3 is concerned with refugee / migrant scholars hosted at Universities. Scholars always face additional challenges compared to students. Thus, this output looks into the university structure and scholar support systems in order to identify and improve upon the needs of refugee scholars that have already embarked on an ac­ademic career or have already been engaged in academic research and teaching. 

Intellectual Output 4: Psychosocial Support through Communi­ties’ Engagement & Mobilisation:

IO4 aims at the development of an educa­tional module for trainers regarding the psychosocial support of refugees. The module will be developed by participatory methodology which will include the recruitment and involvement of key social actors such as refugee representatives, community and voluntary sector agents as well as university members. The objectives will be achieved by activities such as communities’ engagement and mobilisation, a training of trainers’ programme methodology, integra­tion and social cohesion procedures, etc. 

Intellectual Output 5: Supporting refugees on Health and Law issues:

IO5 involves the creation of an online digi­tal module on health and legal issues re­garding refugees/migrants aiming to pro­vide training to trainers of people involved in the health-care and legal support in the reception countries. Moreover, good prac­tices and recommendations will be pro­posed regarding health and legal support of refugee/migrants in the host countries.


Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnership (Higher Education)

The S.U.C.RE. Programme is granted by the Hellenic National Agency (IKY) via the European Commission.  The Coordinator of the Programme is Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the consortium is consisted of the University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), VU Amsterdam (Vrije Universeteit Amsterdam)  as well as the Greek Council for Refugees.  The Programme is a two-year KA2 Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership in the field of Higher Education.

In a nutshell, S.U.C.RE. focuses on the response of the Universities to the academic needs of refugees/migrants students and scholars and to the formation of Manuals of Field Testing (Handbook of Good Practices), through the development of training modules addressed to voluntary sector working in the field with the specific population.

Specifically, S.U.C.RE. focuses on the processes (linguistic support, knowledge level, etc.) required for the proper integration of refugees/migrants (studens and scholars) in higher education as well as on their academic support after their acceptance/entrance in a University. In addition, the programme focuses on the psychosocial integration/support of refugees/migrants and their proper information on legal and medical issues. S.U.C.RE. aims at creating educational/training material to be properly used by trainers for the above stated purposes.

Increasing the capacity of law enforcement authorities to tackle racist crime, hate crime and homophobic crime through experiential learning (Experience Crime)

Implementation Period:

January 2015 – December 2016


Centre for European Constitutional Law - Themistokli foundation and Dimitris Tsatsou


Greek Council for Refugees, Greece

ANTIGONE – Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non-Violence, Greece

Art.1, Netherlands

COSPE, Italy

Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungary

Countries of implementation:

Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Hungary


Co-funded by the Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme of the European Union


The project aims to develop an innovative model of experiential learning, targeted at the needs of the executive (police officers, judges/prosecutors and legal professions) dealing with racist crime, hate crime and homophobic crime. This innovative approach goes beyond traditional capacity-building approaches, highlighting the "experience" of crime and a learning process where knowledge is a derivative of experience.


Development of experiential teaching material


- 1st Seminar

- 2nd Seminar

- 3rd Seminar

Networking and promoting good practices

Dissemination of results and awareness-raising campaign


The expected results of the project include:

(a) design, pilot use and free disposal of 'experiential' training modules and material for hate crimes and related crimes;

(b) training of 90 judges, 90 police officers and 90 jurist swabs from 3 countries;

(c) the establishment and training of a network of specialists;

(d) good practice material ready and available for use;

(e) social awareness among the target groups of each country.


Strengthening NGO involvement and capacities around EU ‘hotspots’ developments

 Περίοδος υλοποίησης: 1/3/2016 - 30/5/2017

Τhe European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE), Pro-Asyl, the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and the Italian Council for Refugees (CIR)

 Χώρες υλοποίησης:





With this project initiative the Dutch Council for Refugees (DCR) aims to contribute to the NGO response and involvement in the developments around the so called EU ‘hotspots’ and relocation programme with the aim to ensure legal protection of and adequate support for asylum seekers who are confronted with this new procedure.


1) research and monitoring
2) advocacy and lobby and
3) strengthening the capacities of local NGO’s to provide legal protection and support services.


These activities should result in: 1) joint NGO advocacy and lobby at EU and national levels (through ECRE) supported by research into and monitoring of the procedures around hotspots and the relocation programme 2) a NGO strategy for refugee protection and support with regard to the ´hotspots' and relocation programme, including practical working methods and processes for NGO involvement, and 3) strengthened capacities of the GRC and CIR by setting up legal counselling and information services in Greece and Italy in order to provide adequate legal assistance and other support to asylum seekers whose claims are processed in the ‘hotspots’.

FAIR (Fostering Access for Immigrant children's Rights)

 Περίοδος υλοποίησης: 2016

The project applicant is ICJ-EI. The national partners are Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) (EL), aditus foundation (MT), Fundacion Raices (ES), Bundesfachverband Unbegleitete Minderjährige Flüchtlinge e.V. (B-UMF) (DE), Legal Clinic for Immigrant and Refugees (LCIR) (BG), Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) (IR), Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) and Association for Legal Studies on Immigration (ASGI) (IT). Assistance will be provided by Child Rights Connect, the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and the AIRE Centre as associate partners. ICJ-EI will manage the activities and ensure the overall project coordination.

 Χώρες υλοποίησης:

IT, ES, MT, EL, BG, IR and DE




1. To ensure that migrant children have, in each of the target countries, access to a pool of lawyers that can effectively represent them and make their views heard both nationally and internationally.

2. To create a pool of European lawyers with the capacity to effectively engage with international human rights protection mechanisms for children’s rights and be agents of change both in their own countries and at EU level.

3. To ensure that lawyers across the EU have easy access to information on how to protect the rights of migrant children, nationally and internationally.

4. To ensure that EU law and international law concerning children’s rights is effectively implemented at national level.


Five training modules covering six languages for legal practitioners on migrant children’s rights and legal representation of migrant children

- Seven national trainings of 20 lawyers per training in seven countries on the basis of the training modules

- One European strategic litigation retreat on international human rights mechanisms for migrant children’s rights for 21 selected lawyers

- Continuing assistance and mentoring of 140 trained lawyers


1. increased knowledge and understanding of at least 140 lawyers in 7 countries on: the international human rights and EU law guarantees on children’s rights, international human rights mechanisms for their protection, and their capacity to communicate effectively with migrant children to ensure that their views are taken into account;

2. a pool of at least 21 lawyers (3 per country) trained in strategic litigation before international human rights judicial and non-judicial mechanisms to defend children’s rights is created;

3. international human rights mechanisms (ECtHR, ECSR, CRC and CESCR) are strengthened by the availability of European lawyers in a position to bring cases on migrant children’s rights internationally;

4. tested and adaptable online training modules and learning tools are disseminated, available to and have reached at least 3,000 lawyers across the whole EU to support them in defending migrant children’s rights.

Co-funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union
"This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Rights, Equality and Citizenship (REC) Programme of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the Greek Council of Refugees and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission."

Strengthening intercultural dialogue and reinforcing communities of Third Country Nationals (TCN) for the protection and exercise of their fundamental rights

 Implementation period: May 2015 - April 2016
 Project administrator: Greek Council for Refugees
 Countries of implementation: Greece

The project is funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Grants Greek NGO Programme “We are all Citizens”. The Bodossaki Foundation is the Fund Operator of this Programme. The Programme aims to strengthen civil society and enhance the contribution of NGOs to social justice, democracy and sustainable development. 


The project aims to strengthen intercultural dialogue, in addition to strengthening the refugee communities, themselves. More specifically, intercultural dialogue is promoted between schools and communities so as to ensure:

 - the smooth and long-term integration into Greek society and the satisfactory exercise of the rights of particularly vulnerable groups, such as asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection currently within the country, who now face the risk of being deprived of any way of guaranteeing their own livelihood, the possibility of social exclusion and marginalization, the danger of becoming victims of discrimination, or even racist violence, and

-  the effective awareness of children in the context of issues of diversity and, as a result, their active integration in a multicultural society.

  • Establishment and operation of a Network of Cooperation with Refugee Communities in order to provide information and counseling services
  • Organization of research meant to map the specific characteristics and needs of communities in our country
  • Enhancment of intercultural education through the conduction of fifteen intercultural dialogue programs at schools in Attici, with the subject "A child refugee dreams like you,” which will involve GCR professionals informing children and teachers about refugee issues.
  • Formation of Joint Action Groups, which will be established by community members, educators, and students so as to identify common problems, and ways of solving them, in relation to access to rights and services. The Groups will also work to develop intercultural dialogue and will organize events to raise awareness on the identified topics. The work of these groups will be presented in two workshops organized in Athens and  in Thessaloniki.

The expected results of the project include, inter alia:


a) forty (40) visits to refugee communities
b) fifteen (15) intercultural dialogue events conducted in Attiki area schools
c) creation of informative material
d) recommendation of four (4) mixed teams for intercultural dialogue.
e) Project Newsletters


 Final event:
Increasing the capacity of law enforcement authorities to tackle racist crime, hate crime and homophobic crime through experiential learning (Experience Crime)

 Timetable: January 2015 – December 2016
 Project manager: Centre for European Constitutional Law - Themistocles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation

Greek Council for Refugees, Greece

ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Center on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence, Greece

Art.1, The Netherlands

COSPE, Italy

Hungarian Helsinki Committee, Hungary

 Countries of implementation: Greece, The Netherlands, Italy, Hungary
Support: Co-funded by the Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme of the European Union
 Aim: The project aims to develop an innovative model of experiential learning targeted to the needs of law enforcement authorities (police officers, judges/prosecutors and legal practitioners) that deal with racist crime, hate crime and homophobic crime. This innovative approach goes beyond traditional approaches to capacity building, by placing emphasis on the 'lived experience' of crime and a learning process where knowledge is generated through experience.
  • Development of experiential learning training concept and material
  • Delivery of training
  • Networking and promotion of best practice
  • Dissemination and awareness activities

The expected results of the project include:

a) ‘experiential’ training modules and material on hate and related crime designed, piloted and available for free use,
b) 90 Judges, 90 law enforcement officers and 90 legal practitioners from 3 countries trained,
c) a network of ‘champions’ formed and trained,
d) good practice material ready and available for use,
e) awareness raised within the target groups in the partner countries.



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