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 Hari Brissimi* and 20 more people aiming to defend the rights of refugees in Greece.

GCR is an association recognized as a special charity, is included in the Registers of competent Ministries, has 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 Program (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 Islet 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, such as the Aegean islands, where people in need of international protection enter in great numbers. The main sources of GCR stem from European and co-financed Programs, by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, by grant making trusts as well as companies and individuals. 


*Hari Brissimi 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.

Board of Directors

After the meeting of the members of the Board of Directors that took place on 24/09/2021, the composition of the new Board of Directors is the following:

Vassilios Papadopoulos, President (responsible for the Administrative Departments)

Danina-Eleni Maniou, Vice President (responsible for the Legal Unit)

Anastasia Pantazi, General Secretary (responsible for the Social Unit)

Nasruddin Nizami, Treasurer (responsible for the First Reception and Interpretion Unit)

Nikolaos Koulouris, Member

Eleni Spathana, Member

Management and Coordination Team

Lefteris Papagiannakis, GCR Director

Maria Papamina, Legal Unit Coordinator
Vasiliki Katrivanou, Social Unit Coordinator
Nasruddin Nizami, First Reception and Interpretation Unit Coordinator
Mariana Fragkou, Programmes, Fundraising and Communications Department Coordinator
Maria Pouli, Financial Department Coordinator


GCR is registered:

a)       Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs: 

          1) In National Registry of Private Non-Profit Institutions since 2002 – No 0209

          2) In Special Registry of Voluntary Non-Governmental Organizations since 2002 – No 0179

          3) In National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA) since 20/1/2015 Institutional Certification in the provision of Social Care Services  

b)      Ministry of Migration and Asylum

        1) Register of Greek and Foreign Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) dealing with international protection, migration and social integration issues with number 170830191745 since August 2017


GCR maintains and undertakes to comply with: Code of Conduct as well as Internal Regulations and Policies on : 1.Child Protection, 2.Against Bullying and Harassment, 3. Anti-corruption and Anti-Bribery, 4. Grievances Policy, 5.Whistleblowing Policy,6. Safeguarding Policy, 7. Sexual Exploitation and Abuse Protection Policy


Our Efficiency

90% Program services
10% Management

ISO Certification

Certified with ISO 9001: 2015
No. 20001210004322
by TUV Austria



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Copyright: © Greek Council for Refugees 2017-2022