Giannis Behrakis/Reuters Kos, Greece
On July 8, 1951, the United Nations General Assembly ratified the Geneva Convention, which to date defines internationally the status under which a person is recognized as a refugee.
Article 1 of the Convention stipulates that a refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of origin or place of residence, has a justified fear of persecution on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or because of political beliefs and because of this fear of persecution, is unable or unwilling to enjoy the protection of this country or return to it.
The Geneva Convention remains for a long time the basic international legal text which can be invoked for the protection of every human being who falls under the above cases of persecution.
The Greek Forum of Refugees firmly strives for the active participation of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in the decision – making processes in the context of empowerment, but also the further democratization of the public dialogue. It is the organization’s belief that refugees and migrants can be part of the solution to contemporary problems, contributing to the wider social progress through initiatives, synergies and, above all, through enhancing the culture of convergence. Our desire is to highlight the elements that unite society, as opposed to those that seem to divide it.
The Greek Forum of Refugees defends the human rights principles according to the international law and advocates for the rights and obligations of asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, and stateless people in the context of their effective and active inclusion in the new host society. The organization networks at national, European, and international level, strengthening the representation of asylum seekers and refugees, claiming their political participation, strengthening their role as equal citizens, and combating discrimination. The Greek Forum of Refugees is the bridge of communication between the newcomers and the host society.
“Democracy and equal participation for everyone”
The Greek forum of Refugees, as an association that represents refugee communities, considers asylum seekers, refugees, migrants of first and second generation, as active members of the host society, aiming to achieve their holistic social inclusion. The association's activities are all aim to promote the positive aspects of the mutual co-existence among newcomers and the host society. The Greek forum of Refugees consists a firm mediator between the State and the refugee communities.
The Greek Forum of Refugees offers the chance to asylum seekers, refugees and migrants to raise and empower their voice by actively participating in decision making fora, where issues of public concern are discussed. Refugees and migrants wish to contribute in finding solutions for the contemporary challenges, as equal citizens of the Greek and European society.
The GFR's network is a significant factor for informative campaigns and for raising awareness. The GFR promotes issues of social concern, by defending human rights' principles, enhancing refugee and migrant population to participate in the public sphere, raising the issue of maximum accessibility to the public health services, creating awareness over the climate change issue and of course, informing about the global developments in the migration field.
“The protection of human life is the most ultimate value”