GENERATION 2.0 FOR RIGHTS, EQUALITY & DIVERSITY

CULTI MULTI
17.01.2020
KALAMATA STREET FESTIVAL
19.01.2020

Area of work: Migration, human rights, integration

Website: www.g2red.org

Challenge overview

Back to 2006, there were 200 000 people in Greece that were born and raised by migrant parents. Although they were born, raised and educated in Greece, the state did not recognize them as second generation Greeks, but as second-generation migrants. The legal system treated them as unequal only because of their different origin. These people could not acquire the Greek citizenship due to the restrictions of the legal framework. Generation 2.0 RED (G2RED) managed to change the legal framework through its advocacy actions.

Due to the connection with the second-generation issue, the organization has a grassroots presence especially with the migrant and refugee communities raising awareness on the problems these communities face in Greece. Many members of the communities actively support and participate in consultations of the organization.

Another challenge that calls for solutions in the Greek context is the massive influx of asylum seekers that came to Greece in the period 2015-2016. More than 1 million people passed through Greece in order to find their way to Europe. More or less 60 000 of them remain in Greece. The people who chose to stay need to be integrated in the Greek society. The vast majority resides in Athens municipality, where G2RED is active.

The Greek governments never supported G2RED on a financial basis. The only “support” the organization took was, when the two previous governments passed two laws for the Greek citizenship, offering a new legal framework, where second-generation migrants could acquire the Greek citizenship through education. Financial support of the organization comes mainly through private foundations and CSR departments of companies. EU funding started only recently after two project proposal submissions under AMIF and REC calls that were successful.

Enterprise`s Establishment

G2RED started as an informal team in 2006 and acquired the legal status of a civil nonprofit partnership in 2013, when Generation 2.0 and Institute for Rights, Equality & Diversity merged. This is how Generation 2.0 for Rights, Equality & Diversity was born.

The organization has a Board of Directors that is consisted of two members. The organization also has created a scientific committee, called Representative Council for Research & Documentation. This committee is consisted of migrant/refugee communities’ representatives and migration policy experts providing resources and advice to the organization’s strategy.The organization participates in many networks, e.g. European Network against Racism, European Network of People of African Descent, Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants, etc. G2RED always seeks partnerships focused mainly on anti-racism, anti-discrimination, human rights advocacy, migrants’ integration and anti-trafficking.

Objectives and Activities

The principles that the G2RED team has embodied as an organization in their work are equality, diversity, anti-racism and anti-discrimination.

The main objective of the organization is the equal participation of all citizens in a diverse Greek society regardless of ethnicity, race, origin, age, gender, sexual preference, religion or other characteristics.

The activities of the organization are the following:

  • Career counseling services for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers
  • Legal counseling for asylum, migration and citizenship
  • Advocacy addressed to citizenship, migration, equal participation and equal treatment
  • Non-formal education activities that include Greek language classes, preparation for the naturalization interview and anti-racism workshops for students

Target group

The main target group of G2RED are asylum seekers, migrants, refugees and second-generation migrants.

Challenges

The first big challenge that G2RED faced was the 200 000 people of migrant origin that were born, raised and educated in Greece, but they still did not have the right to acquire the Greek citizenship. The second was the massive influx of asylum seekers in 2015-2016, and especially those who chose or were forced to stay in Greece.

Impact

After G2RED’s structured advocacy efforts, the second-generation migrants finally had the right to become Greek citizens through the new legal framework voted. More than 200 000 people are estimated to have benefited from that action. The G2RED employability program had also significant impact for the populations they serve. More than 650 people have benefited through their career counseling services and more than 70 Greek companies participate in the G2RED Diversity in the Workplace Network, a network of companies that are willing to support and create sustainable diverse workplaces based on respect and equality.

Lessons learnt

Integration is a two-way process, so G2RED focuses its efforts on both migrants’ communities and receiving societies. Empowerment is the key for vulnerable persons. Autonomy is very important, because social services do not always exist. There are two forms of racism, the profound and the subtle. The G2RED team keeps that in mind when designing new initiatives. Successful projects or other kinds of initiatives take into account all the stakeholders involved. Advocacy is always the key. If you offer Greek language courses, you will help 100 people. However, if you manage to have an integration policy by the Greek state then thousands of persons will benefit.

Conditions for potential replicability

Any service and action could be replicated in national or international level by other organizations. The implementation should be adjusted every time for different contexts. Every organization has a different expertise or approach and every municipality, local society or state have many differences. Before designing replication, the organization should take into consideration the particular challenges each context has.