“REFRAME” project: Supporting migrants and refugees on issues of addiction, gender based violence and prevention of harmful behaviour
Athens, 29 March 2018
Athens - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) - the UN Migration agency and KETHEA, the Therapy Center for Dependent Individuals, announced today the first expanded, organized and targeted project for addiction prevention and response towards the migrant and refugee population stranded in Greece. The press conference took place at the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media. The “REFRAME” project (Responding to Emergency needs and Fostering Refugees’ and Migrants’ Empowerment) is supported with funding from MRF GRANT received through the COUNCIL of EUROPE DEVELOPMENT BANK. The project aims at implementing a holistic protection response to assist migrants and refugees coping with challenges that jeopardize their health and safety and affect their future inclusion into the Greek society.
Dimitris Vitsas, Minister of Migration Policy, referred to the need to "establish a mechanism that will continue after the end of the funding" and to draw on the experience of the country in promoting the social integration of refugees with similar problems. “The Greek government and society have shown since the first moment sensitivity and solidarity in the management of the refugee-migration issue”, said Fotini Pantiora, Special Secretary for Crisis Communication Management. Welcoming the presentation of the IOM - KETHEA project, she pointed out that the protection of migrants’ and refugees’ health remains one of the state's main priorities.
Gianluca Rocco, IOM Chief of Mission in Greece, highlighted the excellent cooperation between the two organizations and stressed that IOM, building on the experience and dialogue with other countries facing similar challenges, is here to help improve and respond to such situations. Dr. Vassilis Gittakos, KETHEA’s Director, pointed out that this pilot project is an important step towards facilitating refugees’ access to prevention and treatment of addictions, which is a constituent part of the human right to health and must be ensured. In collaboration with KETHEA, IOM implements the part of REFRAME project, which aims to develop and implement prevention and response mechanisms to alcohol and drug abuse and addiction, by providing counselling services and facilitating referrals to treatment facilities.
Since the beginning of 2018, the project is being implemented in the open accommodation sites of Malakasa, Thiva, Ritsona, Thermopiles and any other accommodation site upon need, while it is gradually expanded in IOM’s accommodation facilities for unaccompanied migrant children located in the center of Athens. The services include:
- Systematic needs assessment and awareness-raising to all stakeholders on legal and illegal substances.
- Prevention and early intervention groups for families, parents, children and young people.
- Counselling support for people with alcohol and drug problems and their referral, if necessary, to KETHEA’s treatment facilities.
- Awareness raising and training of professionals and volunteers working in accommodation sites and shelters in order to build a network of collaboration and referrals.
KETHEA’s specialized detoxification consultants, and IOM’s legal counselor and cultural mediators are operating on the field, while the team is expected to be reinforced with a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker and a special tailor-made mobile information unit.
The “REFRAME” project includes another two components:
- Enhanced emergency accommodation and specialized assistance to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) victims, including through awareness-raising outreach;
- Minimizing risks of violence and abuse by promoting the active engagement of migrants and refugees to livelihood activities.