Supporting the Greek Government’s Asylum System

ICMC’s experts are on the front line when refugees and asylum-seekers reach the shores of Greece. They ensure that those displaced receive protection upon their arrival after perilous sea and land crossings. In assisting with protection activities, ICMC experts strengthen asylum procedures and protection mechanisms for vulnerable persons on the move. In 2019, ICMC deployed 112 affiliate staff to work with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Greece.

In 2019, some 74,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Greece via land and sea. This figure represents an increase of 48% in comparison with the previous year. Of those new arrivals, about one third were children. Many were in need of international protection.

An implementing partner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Greece, ICMC deploys highly-qualified experts to provide operational support to the Greek asylum and migration management system. Since 2010, this pool of skilled professionals has been a critical component of refugee protection activities in Greece.

refugee children
About one-third of asylum-seekers arriving to Greece are minors. ICMC experts work to identify those in need of international protection and improve their access to services. Photo: Girls in Moria refugee camps on the Greek island of Lesbos. © Tanja Zwack/ICMC

In 2019, 112 ICMC experts were involved in UNHCR operations in the country. Recruited and managed by ICMC, these experts work under the operational and functional supervision of UNHCR and provide support on matters relating to reception conditions, law, country of origin information analysis, quality assurance, project management and communications.

ICMC manages this pool of experts in a flexible way, to respond to changes in migration patterns. The experts are deployed in multiple locations around the country, including on several Greek islands.

ICMC’s pool of professionals includes talented, compassionate candidates with high integrity who possess the right mix of skills and qualities to strengthen ICMC’s and UNHCR’s presence on the ground.

Areas of Work

ICMC deploys personnel to assist UNHCR and Greek authorities in receiving new arrivals at selected border locations. Our experts also monitor arrivals at island entry points without a permanent UNHCR’s presence.

Once new refugees and asylum-seekers have entered Greece, ICMC’s experts seek to respond to their immediate needs and reduce their vulnerability by informing them of their rights and obligations and distributing essential items within reception centers and at entry points.

ICMC also deploys experts to help improve and harmonize conditions, set standards and increase assistance across reception centers throughout the country.

refugees in Greece
ICMC’s personnel in Greece assists the UN Refugee Agency and Greek authorities in receiving and monitorin new arrivals. They work to strengthen local authorities’ capacity to establish fair and fast national procedures which would allow for an efficient asylum system in line with international and European Union standards.

ICMC personnel works to strengthen the capacity of local Greek authorities towards establishing fair and fast national procedures which would allow for an efficient asylum system in line with international and European Union standards. They support UNHCR and the Greek local authorities in building capacity and mechanisms to ensure effective longer-term local integration of refugees.

ICMC experts provide support in terms of quality assurance, legal matters, informational analysis, project management and communications. They transfer their knowledge and support Greek authorities, including by improving their capacity to gather, translate and analyze information on the migrants’ country of origin.

Paying Special Attention to Vulnerable Groups

Many of the people who arrive in Greece are particularly vulnerable and in need of special protection. This is the case, for example, of unaccompanied or separated children.

ICMC experts work as legal, protection, and community service officers to identify persons with special needs and improve their access to essential legal, social and psychological support services.

They assist UNHCR in improving assistance to asylum-seekers and unaccompanied minors, ensuring a more protection-oriented approach to border management. They also advocate to improve conditions in detention centers and prevent arbitrary detention.

Last year, ICMC deployed 112 experts who were instrumental in expanding the response of UNHCR and Greek authorities to the international protection needs of some 74,000 newly arrived refugees and migrants. 

You can help refugees and migrants rebuild their lives with dignity and hope.


Get ICMC’s Monthly Newsletter
See What You Will Get (Past Issues)


ICMC provides assistance and protection to vulnerable people on the move and advocates for sustainable solutions for refugees and migrants.