Recent actions on the refugee crisis by the Greek General Secretariat for Gender Equality (October 2018)
Here is a comprehensive presentation of the recent two actions on the refugee crisis by the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE), i.e. the governmental organization in charge of equality between women and men in Greece, which have been included in the English version of the Newsletter on the Refugee-Migration Issue (number 3, page 19, August 2018), published by the Greek Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications & Media (relevant link: http://mindigital.gr/index.php/pliroforiaka-stoixeia/2858-newsletter-on-the-refugee-migration-issue-2018-no3):
1) Information Conferences entitled: “We unite our forces for female refugees and their children – Presentation of the Agreement Protocol of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality for female refugees that have survived gender-based violence”
The General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE) organized four informatiion and awareness-raising conferences entitled: “We unite our forces for female refugees and their children-Presentation of the Protocol Agreement of the Gender Secretariat for Gender Equality for female refugees that have survived gender-based violence”, which took place in Lamia (30/05/2018), Mytilene (15/06/2018), Thessaloniki (27/06/2018) and Kavala (28/06/2018) with the cordial support of the European Office of UNICEF.
More specifically, at the conferences the Protocol Agreement was presented “for the adoption of a common framework of procedures of tracking, referring and hosting, as well as, provision of consultation services to the Pan-Hellenic network of 63 Units of GSGE, KETHI (Research Center for Gender Equality), EKKA (National Center for Social Solidarity) and Municipalities for the prevention and combat against female violence”.
The Protocol was signed in December 2016 by the General Secretariat for Gender Equality, the General Secretariat of Reception/Ministry for Migration Policy, the General Secretariat of Public Health, the Ministry of National Defence, the Research Center for Gender Equality, Greece’s Union of Regions, the Central Union of Greece’s Municipalities, the Hellenic Agency for Local Development and Local Government and the National Center for Social Solidarity and sets as its target group female refugees-victims or potential violence victims (domestic violence, trafficking, sexual harassment, rape etc.) and their children or female refugees that are single parents.
The aim of this Protocol is the cooperation and coordination of all competent public authorities in order to set a range of processes to track, refer, accommodate and support female refugees who are at a state of endangerment to endure violence and, at the same time, to make the Protocol known and accessible to all professionals who provide services to migrant populations and work for the public administration, the local government and the NGOs.
2) Memorandum of Understanding between the General Secretariat for Gender Equality and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Τhe signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 confirms the cooperation between the General Secretariat for Gender Equality and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at the GSGE offices by the Secretariat General for Gender Equality Foteini Kouvela, and UNICEF Refugee and Migrant Response Country Coordinator in Greece Lucio Melandri.
The Memorandum, that on behalf of UNICEF was signed by the Regional Director and Special Correspondent of UNICEF for the Refugee and Migration Crisis in Europe Afshan Khan, formalizes the cooperation and commitment between the General Secretariat for Gender Equality and UNICEF to act together to protect female refugees–migrants and their children from gender-based violence.
In the framework of this collaboration, both parties agreed to empower the existing practices and their technical expertise to disseminate information and raise awareness, to promote children friendly survival practices and enforce the accessibility of female refugees or migrants and their children to services for the prevention and combat of gender-based violence, and also, to research and data collection for policy updating and planning.
Furthermore, it is noted that on 15-10-2018 the closing conference of the project “Building a safety net for migrant and refugee women” took place in Athens. The specific project has been funded by the European Union – Daphne Strand and implemented through five partners in three different countries (i.e. Italy, Spain and Greece, relevant link: http://buildingasafetynet.org/ ) with the following objectives:
a) ensure easy access of GBV survivors, in particular female migrants and refugees, to specific aid services and receiving of appropriate assistance
- b)appease underreporting of GBV by raising capacity and awareness of field professionals to identify the survivors and refer them to the proper authorities and services
- c)expand prevention of and response to GBV in partner countries through building respond capacity of GBV professionals regarding diverse needs of migrant and refugee survivors; improvement of working methods and establishment of multi-actor coordination and improved protection mechanism
- d)get migrant and refugee women empowered and well informed to report and stand for their rights
- e)open the public agenda with new GBV challenges and frames of respond and stimulate action by all relevant actors, including adequate representation and consultation of women’s organizations.