NORCAP expert, Angeliki Tsiliou, working as a site management support adviser in Lagadikia refugee site, Northern Greece. Here together with a family from Iraq at the Lagadikia reception facility in 2021. Photo: NORCAP/Gabriel Babsi

Greece capacity building project

Published 28. Aug 2020|Edited 13. Sep 2022
NORCAP’s capacity building project in Greece aims to strengthen the national capacity to protect the rights of refugees and migrants.

Greece is one of the main routes into the European Union for refugees and migrants from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The number of arrivals has gone down since 2015 and 2016 when over a million people arrived in Greece seeking safety in Europe. As of March 2022, more than 28.000 people live in reception centres and sites, as well as in apartments, according to the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

 NORCAP has been part of the Greece refugee crisis response since the start of the influx in 2015, and supported Greek authorities under Capacity Building Project since 2019. The project aims to strengthen refugee and migrant reception systems to protect their lives and rights.

Working in close co-operation with the authorities, NORCAP focuses on building the capacity of national institutions responsible for areas including the reception of refugees and migrants,  protection of unaccompanied children, as well as the protection of the  victims of human trafficking.

“The Greece capacity building project is a great example of NORCAP’s two strengths, combining strategic support with operational assistance,” says Benedicte Giæver, NORCAP’s executive director. “I am especially pleased that we are able to work on several levels – providing input and support to strengthening procedures and systems, as well as implementing and monitoring these changes on the ground”.

The project is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants. The fund is operated by ΣΟΛ Crowe and HumanRights360.

Greek version of this text

Read the NRC Articles of Association here (Greek version)

Project organogram

A dignified reception 

NORCAP advocates to enhance the quality of services provided to protect people at risk. We provide advice and training to national institutions responsible for the reception of and the support to refugees and migrants in Greece. We do this by offering expertise to ensure dignified conditions at reception centres and temporary accommodation sites by working closely with the Reception and Identification Service (RIS).

The Reception and Identification Service (RIS) operates under the Ministry for Migration and Asylum (MoMA) and is responsible for the reception and identification procedures of newly arrived refugees and migrants. They are also responsible for covering basic needs for people living in reception facilities, such as handing out tents, cooking equipment and hygiene kits.

NORCAP provides expertise on site management, protection, community engagement and accountability, screening of vulnerable people and reception procedures to RIS. The experts develop standard operating procedures and guidelines on site management, coordination and collaboration with stakeholders.

Woman with face mask and NORCAP vest, looking at a walkie-talkie, standing outside in front of a building, some trees and a couple of vehicles.
NORCAP expert in Schisto Reception Facility. Photo: NORCAP/Gabriel Babsi

For example, our experts have taken part in the development of standard operating procedures and mapping of best practices to enhance the management of new arrivals. This work is now being implemented by RIS at reception sites on the mainland. Our experts have also contributed to the development of the General Regulation on mainland reception facilities – a guideline that outlines the minimum quality standards of reception services. The Regulation is now being implemented at all reception facilities in Greece.  Furthermore, we have also provided technical expertise to support the improvement of reception and accommodation facilities in order to provide dignified reception and short-term accommodation conditions especially to vulnerable groups.

To protect and provide safe accommodation for unaccompanied children, NORCAP has supported the Special Secretariat for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors with developing an operational plan on case management. In 2021 there were 4.750 referrals of unaccompanied minors to appropriate shelters.

Since 2019, NORCAP has held 30 trainings for 350 professionals involved in the reception and identification work. These sessions focused on basic concepts, principles and values of humanitarian work, including basic principles of work with asylum seekers and refugees, vulnerability screening, child protection, basic principles of gender-based violence (GBV), as well as protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), processes for issuance and delivery of various administrative documents to migrants and refugees, referral pathways for vulnerable individuals, GBV survivors.  

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Man wearing NORCAP vest, walking away from camera, in a site for asylum seekers in Greece.
Christos Martinis, NORCAP site management support expert in Alexandria reception facility in Greece, 2021. Photo: NORCAP/Gabriel Babsi


NORCAP provides advice and training to state institutions on anti-trafficking and the protection of survivors. The National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA) manages and operates the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for the protection of survivors of human trafficking. The National Referral Mechanism is a framework for identifying and referring presumed and officially recognised victims and survivors of human trafficking and ensuring they receive the support they need and enjoy the rights they are entitled to. 

Angeliki Serafeim (to the right), NORCAP legal expert, together with Theodora Gianni, Head of Reception Department, Social Interventions Directorate of the National Centre for Social Solidarity (EKKA). Photo: NORCAP/Gabriel Babsi

In co-operation with EKKA, NORCAP take part in setting-up and follow-up the implementation of the NRM to protect trafficking survivors. This contributes to advance the coordination of stakeholders involved in the management of cases. Since 2019, 478 cases of human trafficking have been reported under the NRM framework.

NORCAP has held trainings for over 1000 first-line responders in the public and civil sectors on the identification and protection of trafficking survivors. We have also contributed to develop a training curriculum for asylum service officers under the NRM framework, in addition to a NRM handbook and a practical guide for field workers.

Read more about our anti-trafficking work in the 2021 NORCAP annual report.

Inter-sectoral training at Rhodes in September 2019. Photo: NORCAP/Kalliopi Chaziri

NORCAP Capacity Building Project in Greece

  • The current project period runs from 2019 to the end of 2022 and focuses on ensuring dignified reception and protection of vulnerable asylum seekers, refugees and migrants. NORCAP has supported the Greek Authorities with a total of 26 experts, whose contributions amount to 500 months of total work.  
  • NORCAP provides expertise on site management, reception procedures, anti-trafficking, community engagement and accountability, site planning and protection including child protection, protection from gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse.
  • The experts contribute to the development of and follow-up several initiatives to enhance local capacity, including developing standard operating procedures and promoting their implementation.
  • The project is implemented in co-operation with key national institutions including: the General Secretariat for Reception of Asylum Seekers (under the Ministry of Migration and Asylum), the Directorate of Reception and Identification Service, the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, the Special Secretary for the Coordination of Stakeholders, the Technical Service of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the National Centre for Social Solidarity - EKKA (under the Ministry of Labour). In addition to providing expertise to the Authorities’ Headquarters, NORCAP has also been present at the Reception Sites placed at both mainland and the islands, including Lagadikia, Alexandreia, Lesvos and Chios.
  • NORCAP also supports the General Secretariat for Public Health by contributing to the coordination of stakeholders who provide health services to asylum seekers and refugees in the sites on the islands and mainland in Greece.
  • The project is funded by the EEA and Norway Grants and fund operated by ΣΟΛ Crowe and HumanRights360.

Funded by

The European Economic Area Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway grants logo.

Fund operated by

SOL Crowe and Human Rights 360 logos

Our partners


EEA Grants

The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €1.55 billion. The priorities for this period are: 1) Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness, 2) Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction, 3) Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy, 4) Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights, 5) Justice and Home Affairs.

The EEA Grants are jointly financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, whose contributions are based on their GDP. Eligibility for the Grants mirror the criteria set for the EU Cohesion Fund aimed at member countries where the Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average.

More information here and in Greek here  

About Program II: “Asylum and Migration”

Addressing urgent needs for the reception and screening of Asylum Seekers and for the Accommodation of Vulnerable Groups

The “Asylum and Migration” (Addressing urgent needs for the reception and screening of asylum seekers and for the accommodation of vulnerable groups) programme in Greece, financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, was awarded a total budget of 16,5 million euros as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aspires to contribute to ensuring legal protection, support and care for the most vulnerable asylum seekers, with emphasis on unaccompanied children. The Fund Operator for the “Asylum and Migration” programme in Greece is SOL Consulting S.A in partnership with Human Rights 360.

More information

About the Fund Operator

The Fund Operator for the “Local Development and Poverty Reduction” programme and “Asylum and Migration” (Addressing urgent needs for the reception and screening of asylum seekers and for the accommodation of vulnerable groups) programme in Greece is SOL Consulting S.A in partnership with Human Rights 360.

More information

About SOL/Crowe

SOL Crowe provides auditing and consulting services to an expanded network of organisations and companies operating in the public and private sector in Greece and abroad. The Company provides customised solutions in the entire spectrum of consulting services aimed at supporting, reorganising and sustainable development of our customers.

The services provided cover all areas of corporate activities - Management Consulting Services, Tax Services, Financial Services, Risk Management Services, Human Resources Services, Business Monitoring Services, HTL Services, Technology Services - creating direct and visible value to businesses 15 and organisations.

The company is staffed with highly specialised consultants, with experience and professional knowledge and competence, ensuring the efficiency and quality of services provided.

More information

About HumanRights360 

HumanRights360 is a civil society organisation established in Greece. Its mission is to protect and empower the rights of all, with no discrimination, giving special focus on the most disadvantaged and vulnerable populations.

The cornerstone of its action is the belief that the social inclusion may be achieved only through the protection of the individual, political and social rights of the entire population, and that through wider alliances, both in Greece and internationally, open and tolerant societies can be built, rejecting the Far-Right rhetoric, the extremism and xenophobia, and encouraging the participation of all citizens.

The main pillars of HR360 activities is integration services (mainly in refugees’ field such as legal aid and borders monitoring), reintegration services and support of vulnerable people (homeless, ex prisoners), combating hate crimes through recording incidents for the Network of Racist violence, promoting campaigns, participating to researches, reports, editions and providing legal support to victims of racist crimes, strategic communication and advocacy for human rights protection, and management of regranting programmes.

More information