“Thessaloniki honours the World Refugee Day”, 20th June 2013

IMG 1138Symbiosis organised, in collaboration with the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Greece, refugee and asylum seekers communities and other organisations, the 2013 World Refugee Day in Thessaloniki. The World Refugee Day is marked every year on June 20 since 2001 with events in many countries involving official agencies, aid workers, citizens and primarily refugees and asylum seekers.

In the framework of Symβiosis programme on integrating refugees and asylum seekers in Thessaloniki and the campaign on rights, the event was organised to raise citizens' awareness on the issues during a period of spiralling racism and xenophobia, and, most importantly, to give a voice to refugees and asylum seekers themselves. All over Greece, about 50,000 asylum seekers are waiting for the examination of their claim, often pending for over ten years. There is a severe lack of adequate reception conditions for asylum seekers and refugees, while in the main urban centres the reception centres for refugees and asylum seekers are almost abandoned by the state, and are collapsing by the day. Living conditions are atrocious; buildings are dilapidated, while in practice there are scarce provisions for legal aid and social care.

The World Refugee Day in the local Media

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Conference on “Asylum and Migration Tensions and Challenges”

AsylMigA conference on "Asylum and Migration Tensions and Challenges" in Europe and Greece has been organised on 7-8 March 2013 in Thessaloniki, Greece, by Goethe Institute Thessaloniki, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Greece, Symβiosis, Greek Council for Refugees, Evangelical German speaking Church and Antigone, under the auspices of the Thessaloniki Municipality and with the support of UNHCR Greece.

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MOVEACT Project presentation: “All Citizens Now”:

moveActENA study on Intra-EU Mobility and the European Crisis are presented on Thursday November 1st 2012 in an event organised by ELIAMEP, in cooperation with the University of Macedonia and the NGO Symβiosis. The MOVEACT research project was co-funded by the European Union (European Commission, DG Justice, Fundamental Rights & Citizenship Programme). The findings concern British, German, Polish and Romanian citizens residing in France, Greece, Italy and Spain. A key aspect of the European integration process is the right to free movement. Such a right is actually seen by both citizens and policy-makers as the core element embodying the notion of EU citizenship.

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Is there room in Thessaloniki for refugees and asylum seekers?

23112011317Over the last few months, Symβiosis has been providing humanitarian assistance to the dwellers of the Thessaloniki Reception Centre for Refugees and Asylum Seekers, including food, clothes, toys and educational material for the children, cleaning materials, first aid and care for the newly born and babies. Yet, “it is only obvious that volunteerism and philanthropy cannot solve the fundamental problems that put at severe risk the livelihood of the seventy people that rely on the Shelter for their existence”, as Fazli Mouhtar, an asylum seeker who repairs the plumbing and other damages there in his free time, says. Under the current increasing crisis, the central and local governments as well as several organisations seem to ignore such protection structures left to ravage, while collective and individual fundamental rights disappear in the twilight.

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