First Reception and Interpretation Unit

The Greek Council for Refugees, acknowledging the importance of a good reception system which will contribute to a fair and efficient asylum procedure as well as to direct social support of refugees, set up the First Reception and Interpretation Unit, composed of one coordinator, two deputy coordinators, two political scientists, two reception employees and forty-eight interpreters as intercultural mediators. 

GCR’s First Reception and Interpretation Unit makes the first contact with our beneficiaries. By communicating the social, historical and cultural elements that determine each case, the translators contribute significantly to the proper function of the Unit, while they facilitate the access of GCR’s beneficiaries to goods and services, by participating in visits to detention centers, courts, hospitals, accommodation centers, etc. Our interpreters provide their services in Athens and Thessaloniki, in Ioannina, Samos, Rhodes, Chios, Lesvos and Leros. 

By being the first stop for the people who seek GCR’s support, the First Reception and Interpretation Unit provides immediate help and traces potential problems they may face during the asylum procedure, helping to fill the gaps in the Greek state’s reception structures. Moreover, the beneficiaries receive basic information regarding their rights, while the Unit, among other things, prepares their asylum application, intervenes to help them gain access to the asylum procedure, appeals against first instance rejection of asylum etc. 

Specifically, the Unit undertakes the following:


●      Refugee profile screening and response to the immediate needs of asylum seekers, within the organization’s ability, regarding the procedures of provision of international protection.

●      Establishing a communication channel between asylum seekers/refugees and other services of the organization in order to provide the former with the required and necessary legal and social assistance.

●      Giving information to asylum seekers and refugees about their rights and responsibilities.

●      Helping newcomers gain essential access to goods and services through daily and immediate assistance.


With regard to the beneficiaries’ social concerns, their needs and demands have to do mainly with housing and health care, as well as the support of special groups such as unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking and racist violence and persons with psychological problems that have been assisted by GCR’s other services.


Communication between the staff and the beneficiaries is constantly established in the following languages: Dari, Farsi, French, Arabic, Chinese, Pashto, Urdu, Bangla (Bengali), Kurdish, Lingala, Swahili, Kikongo, Tshiluba, Somali, Russian, Turkish. Additional interpreters are called in order to cover urgent needs regarding the languages Amharic, Pular, Wolof, Malinke and Tigrinya.


Finally, a significant number of students from various Greek universities, but also from Universities abroad, carry out their graduate training in the First Reception and Interpretation Unit, in order to come into contact with the asylum field and familiarize themselves with the needs of GCR’s beneficiaries.

Our Efficiency

90% Program services
10% Management



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