Asylum Seekers and refugees discuss solutions and challenges in annual Greece participatory assessment
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today published the results of an annual participatory assessment report on the concerns of asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece about their current situation and future prospects and risks and how to address them. The participatory assessment was concluded by holding separate discussions with women, girls, […]
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today published the results of an annual participatory assessment report on the concerns of asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece about their current situation and future prospects and risks and how to address them. The participatory assessment was concluded by holding separate discussions with women, girls, boys, and men, to gather information from their perspective on their daily lives, the protection risks they face and to hear their proposed solutions.
Under the Inter-Agency Participatory Assessment 2018 (PA), Focus Group Discussions were led by 41 partners from authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other United Nations (UN) agencies between January and July this year across the country. The annual consultation is aimed at ensuring the participation of asylum-seekers and refugees in the design and review of humanitarian programmes in Greece, and placing them at the centre of decision-making concerning their protection and well-being.
The main focus is on the risks, challenges, and opportunities as they shift from receiving free accommodation and cash assistance to becoming self-sufficient and integrating with the Greek society. This year’s PA also focuses on communication with communities (CwC) and other important protection issues, while the survey aims at identifying strengths within the communities that could contribute to improving the humanitarian response.
The survey is based on direct consultations with 1,436 asylum-seekers and refugees from a wide cross section of society, including people with specific needs, the elderly, LGBTI and unaccompanied and separated children. The focus group discussions were held on islands, the mainland, urban areas and state-run accommodation sites and Reception and Identification Centres (RIC). People from 26 countries took part.
Participants discussed a number of key issues, and they identified priorities and made specific and concrete recommendations. In general, with the increasing focus on self-reliance, inclusion and integration, participants sought support through access to the labour market, Greek language classes, more provision of information, and inclusion in programmes (including education) and activities across Greece. Language was seen as vital.
The other major concerns discussed also included unclear, delayed and lengthy asylum procedures that cause debilitating frustration and anxiety; limited services and unclear procedures; xenophobia and racism; insecurity and inadequate law enforcement, including inaction over inter-communal fights; SGBV, particularly in some of the RICs where segregation is insufficient. Participants also noted too few interpreters; lack of community-based protection structures; measures to encourage co-existence with the host community; information and interpretation provision; access to formal education for all; complaint and reporting mechanisms; and insufficient access to national services such as health and medical care.
The key issues, priorities and recommendations can be found in the report, available here.