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 interpreters as intercultural mediators. 

GCR’s First Reception and Interpretation Unit makes the first contact with our beneficiaries. The interpreters communicate the social, historical and cultural elements that determine each case, and contribute to the methodical and effective function of the Unit, while facilitating the access of GCR’s beneficiaries to goods and services through their visits to detention centers, courts, hospitals, accommodation centers, etc. Our interpreters provide their services in Athens, Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Samos, Rhodes, Chios, Lesvos, and Leros.

The First Reception and Interpretation Unit is the first stop for the people who seek GCR’s support. The Unit provides immediate help, traces potential problems beneficiaries may face during the asylum procedure and fills the gaps in the Greek State’s reception structures. Moreover, the Unit offers beneficiaries necessary information regarding their rights, 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 the provision of international protection.
  • Establishing a communication channel between asylum seekers/refugees and other services of the organization 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.


Our beneficiaries’ needs and demands concern housing, healthcare, support of unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking and racist violence, and people with psychological problems that have been assisted by GCR’s other services.

Communication between the staff and the beneficiaries is established continuously 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 to cover urgent needs regarding the languages Amharic, Pular, Wolof, Malinke and Tigrinya.

Finally, a significant number of students from Greek and international universities carry out their graduate training in the First Reception and Interpretation Unit to familiarise themselves with the asylum field and the needs of GCR’s beneficiaries.



Our Efficiency

90% Program services
10% Management



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