Greece has been a key entry point for refugees who seek protection in Europe since 2000. Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Syria and in other countries as well as people’s need to flee from oppressive regimes have been their main reasons for migration. However, the protection offered to them by Greek authorities has been falling short of international standards for a number of years. Compounding matters, those who arrive irregularly in the country looking for a better future, have been facing prolonged administrative detention in inhumane conditions.
AITIMA is a non-governmental organisation that was created in 2008 to assist and support refugees and vulnerable migrants with legal aid services and advocate for their rights in Greece and in the EU. Only between April and September 2017, Aitima supported more than 1.000 beneficiaries, including unaccompanied minors, families, victims of torture, women who are victims of violence.
The defining characteristic of the organisation is that despite its poor resources, it has been offering free legal assistance to thousands of people and has been very active in taking a clear stance on violations of human rights. In order to be able to do so, we have made a choice to keep our running expenses very low and invest our limited resources to direct service provision. This however means that we always lack capacity for communication costs and fundraising, which in turn leads to working on a project basis and struggling for funding.
Now our resources are running out while the needs of refugees and vulnerable migrants for legal assistance in Greece remain urgent and growing. Therefore, we decided to launch a crowdfunding campaign and appeal to the public for support. It’s up to you to keep our activities alive. Please donate here.