Greece

In Greece, researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki undertook research on the Northern Aegean Islands, in Athens and Thessaloniki. They spoke with more than 450 people, predominantly from Syria, Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan.

TRAFIG practice note no. 9

TRAFIG practice note no. 9

Resolving the ‘mobility paradox’ - Lessons from southern Europe

available in English, Italian, Greek

Protracted displacement exists in the European Union. TRAFIG research shows that many forced migrants in Italy and Greece live on the margins of society without hope for or the prospect of change. Their only way out is to go on the move. Mobility is their strategy to connect to social networks and find livelihood opportunities elsewhere. The problem is that their mobility is often on the fringes of or entirely outside the law. It leads to what we call the ‘mobility paradox’ that, if left unresolved, limits migrants’ own survival strategies from serving as resources/solutions to protracted displacement.

Based on the TRAFIG research in Italy and Greece - the results of which can... Read more

TRAFIG policy brief no. 6

TRAFIG policy brief no. 6

Moving on

How easing mobility restrictions within Europe can help forced migrants rebuild their lives

Free movement within the Schengen area is a cornerstone of European integration – and indeed an essential part of the European way of life. However, this freedom of movement is limited for forcibly displaced people residing within the European Union (EU). European asylum systems are designed to suppress mobility, which actually prevents many asylum seekers from finding a ‘durable solution’. In contrast, enabling legal mobility within and across EU countries, when paired with access to labour markets and ensuring the right to family life, can open new opportunities for forced migrants to settle into receiving communities and truly rebuild their lives. Read more

TRAFIG working paper no. 9

TRAFIG working paper no. 9

Figurations of Displacement in Southern Europe

Empirical findings and reflections on protracted displacement and translocal networks of forced migrants in Greece and Italy

This working paper is based on empirical research on the Translocal Figurations of Displacement in Greece and Italy. The authors aim to compare protracted displacement in Greece and Italy, looking at the structural forces shaping it and their interactions with migrants’ mobility and connectivity. This comparison is based on the analysis of the relations between two contextual variables (governance regimes and host population) and three key variables (mobility, connectivity and marginalisation). In this paper, they present findings from three study sites in Greece and four research locations in Italy.

Findings sho... Read more

Mobility and agency in protracted displacement

Mobility and agency in protracted displacement

Available in English, French and Arabic

The latest issue of the Forced Migration Review includes a special feature on mobility and agency for those living in protracted displacement, produced in collaboration with the TRAFIG project. Read more

  • Understanding the dynamics of protracted displacement
  • Mobility dynamics in protracted displacement: Eritreans and Congolese on the move
  • Family networks and Syrian refugees’ mobility aspirations
  • ‘Constrained mobility’: a feature in protracted displacement in Greece and Italy
  • Humanitarian Admission Programmes: how networks enable mobility in contexts of protracted displacement
Release of two TRAFIG Documentaries at the Film festival

Release of two TRAFIG Documentaries at the Film festival "Crocevia du Sguardi" \

Throughout their fieldwork activities, the TRAFIG teams in Italy and Greece were accompanied by camera teams. Based on this footage, two video documentaries have been produced which capture the realities of persons affected by protracted displacement. The two documentaries "Is my place here? Living as a refugee in Italy" directed by Andrea fantino and "Crafting futures" directed by Michalis Kastanidis and Io Chaviara are available for free from Tuesday 16 November at 21:00 to Sunday 21 November at 24:00 here.

The Italian documentary "Is my place here? Living as a refugee in Italy" will be also live screened on Thursday November 18th, 9pm at Cecchi Point (Turin). The documentary will be discussed by Ferruccio Pastore (FIERI Director), Pietro Cingolani (University of Bologna... Read more

The camp and the city: Insights from a multi-stakeholder community consultation in the port of Lavrio in Attica (Greece)

The camp and the city: Insights from a multi-stakeholder community consultation in the port of Lavrio in Attica (Greece)

by Filyra Vlastou Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Introduction and context

During June and July 2021, the Greek team carried out a set of multi-stakeholder community consultations (MSCC) in the port of Lavrio. The small town of more than 7,000 inhabitants in southern Attica had hosted three refugee camps until very recently: The former state-, now self-organised old Lavrio camp located in the very centre of the town since 1947, a makeshift campsite created in 2010 in Neraki, an area about one kilometre away from the town, and the official camp of Lavrio (located at neaby Sounio), founded in 2017 and closed in June 2021, located approximately five kilometres outside the town. The old Lavrio camp, located right in the heart of the town—around the corner from the central square, n... Read more

Update of the TRAFIG fieldwork in Greece

Update of the TRAFIG fieldwork in Greece

Eva Papatzani, Filyra Vlastou, Alexandra Siotou and Panos Hatziprokopiou from the TRAFIG Team in Greece, report on their activities and insights from the fieldwork in Athens, Lesvos and Chios, and Thessaloniki since September 2020.

Athens

From September to early November 2020 (start of second national lockdown), Eva Papatzani conducted multiple interviews with displaced persons from Syria, Afghanistan, the DR Congo and Pakistan, as well as a focus group discussion with refugees settled in Athens for decades working as interpreters in the humanitarian sector. A significant number of these interviewees (either residing in camps or ESTIA apartments in Athens) find themselves in precarious conditions due to the planned obligatory exits from the official accommodation system, whi... Read more

The New Pact: Supporting or constraining mobility out of protracted displacement?

The New Pact: Supporting or constraining mobility out of protracted displacement?

By Caitlin Katsiaficas and Martin Wagner, ICMPD

The European Commission’s New Pact on Migration and Asylum is aimed at breaking years of political deadlock on the reform of a coordinated approach to asylum and migration management in the region. In doing so, it hopes to build a stronger and more common system across Member States that is durable in the face of migratory pressures and external shocks. In taking a multipronged approach to the issue, the Pact’s proposed measures have several important implications – both positive and negative – for the mobility of displaced persons already in or aiming to reach the European Union.

What does the Pact envision?

Overall, a key goal of the Pact is to minimise and address ‘irregular arrivals’ to the continent. With this, the Commiss... Read more

Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations

Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations

In The Conversation, Carolien Jacobs (Leiden Unviersity), Nuno Ferreira (University of Sussex), Emanuela Roman (FIERI) and Benjamin Etzold (BICC) plead for urgently needed policy changes that focus on displaced people’s actual needs and the realisation of truly durable solutions. The short article is based on our insights from TRAFIG Working Paper 3.

Read the blog contribution here.

Meet TRAFIG Team member Eva Papatzani

Meet TRAFIG Team member Eva Papatzani

Meet Eva Papatzani, a member of the Greek TRAFIG research team at the School of Spatial Planning and Development, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (A.U.Th.). She is a PhD Candidate in Urban Social Geography at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, School of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens (N.T.U.A.), Greece. Eva holds an MSc in Urban and Regional Planning (N.T.U.A.) and a Diploma in Architecture from A.U.Th. Find out more about her work and motivation:

Since the early years of my studies in Architecture and later during my MSc in Urban and Regional Planning, I focused on the study of the city and urban space as not merely an architectural or spatial form, but mainly as a socio-spatial entity which is reproduced by – but also reproduces – the pract... Read more

TRAFIG Fieldwork in Greece

TRAFIG Fieldwork in Greece

In Greece, the restrictions applied during Covid-19 pandemic along with the two new Laws adopted since the beginning of 2020, have further tightened migration controls, protection and reception systems, and asylum procedures. Although some expert interviews took place online in May, fieldwork in Greece essentially resumed at mid-June, after the termination of the two-month lockdown (although lockdown measures are still in place in some camps in the mainland and in all hot-spots on the islands, strengthening restrictions of movement and marginalization).

Eva Papatzani, Alexandra Siotou, Filyra Vlastou and Panos Hatziprokopiou from the TRAFIG Team in Greece share their insights from the fieldwork in the Aegean islands, Athens and Thessaloniki:

A few days ago, the infamous ca... Read more

Asylum reception during the pandemic: How can systems become more resilient?

Asylum reception during the pandemic: How can systems become more resilient?

By Caitlin Katsiaficas and Martin Wagner, ICMPD

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of far-reaching impacts on daily life across Europe, and asylum systems are no exception. With the outbreak, the accommodation of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection in reception facilities has posed several concerns related to the health and care of both residents and staff which have spurred a host of changes across European reception systems and facilities – with important implications for residents. Reception is a key first step in providing an effective solution to displacement for asylum seekers in Europe. It is not only part of a state’s obligation to provide protection and access to asylum, it is also the first entry point into receiving societies, providing orientation, accommodation and other key introductory services. Covid-19 has had a significant impact on both the functioning of reception systems and facilities and on the lives of asylum seekers and refugees in reception. Read more

Asylum reception during a pandemic

The impact of Covid-19 restrictions on the lives of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection in reception in select European countries

Private stakeholder meeting 9 June 2020

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of far-reaching impacts on daily life across Europe, and asylum systems are no exception. In this context, the accommodation of applicants and beneficiaries of international protection in reception settings poses many concerns related to the health and care of residents and staff. Since the outbreak, a variety of measures have been put in place in different reception systems and centres, including restrictions on movement, quarantines, the pausing of education- and work-related activities, and bans on or separate accommodation for new arrivals. The con... Read more

The EU’s shield and the institutionalisation of protracted displacement

The EU’s shield and the institutionalisation of protracted displacement

by Ferruccio Pastore and Emanuela Roman (FIERI, Italy), Panos Hatziprokopiou and Eva Papatzani (Aristotle Unviersity of Thessaloniki, Greece), Albert Kraler (Danube University of Krems, Austria) and Benjamin Etzold (BICC, Germany), 06.03.2020

TRAFIG researchers are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation at the Greece-Turkey border, on the Aegean islands and, of course, in Idlib. We are irritated about the political framing of recent developments, in particular by the European Union. 'Shielding Europe from refugees' and keeping them in protracted displacement is no sustainable solution. Instead, providing ‘protection shields for refugees’ and supporting them to find pathways to the future, whilst respecting legal and moral principles and counteracting racist violence must becom... Read more

TRAFIG working paper no. 3

TRAFIG working paper no. 3

Governing protracted displacement

An analysis across global, regional and domestic contexts

This working paper explores the governance of protracted displacement across global, regional and domestic levels in the context of the project “Transnational Figurations of Displacement” (TRAFIG). The multiple contemporary crises that have led to forced displacement show not only the limits of a tight definition of ‘refugee’, but also highlight the gaps in international protection frameworks. A significant number of those forcibly displaced are in protracted displacement situations.

This paper is an effort to make sense of the legislative and policy frameworks of protection that apply globally, regionally and domestically, and the way in which these frameworks facilitate or hinder solutions... Read more