The Family and Childcare Centre (KMOP) is organising the International Conference on “LGBT Refugees and Migrants: the situation in Greece and Europe”, on Tuesday, 9th May 2017, from 09.00 - 15.30 at the President Hotel (43, Kifissias Ave., Athens). The conference will take place in the framework of the Erasmus+ funded project “EpsiLon: Equipping Professionals for Supporting LGBT Refugees”, a unique LGBT-led project guided by an independent Users Advisory Board consisted of 20 LGBT migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, campaigners, psychologists and other professionals and researchers from 7 countries across Europe.Dr. Antonia Torrens, COB of KMOP, will open the conference. Mr. Ioannis Mouzalas, Minister of Immigration Policy, Ms. Maria Yannakaki, Secretary General for Transparency and Human Rights, Ms. Fotini Kouvela, Secretary General for Gender Equality, and on behalf of the Municipality of Athens, Ms. Maria Stratigaki, Vice Mayor for Social Solidarity, Welfare and Equality and Mr. Lefteris Papagiannakis, Vice Mayor for Migrants, Refugees and Municipal Decentralization will address the conference.

The conference will launch the e-book “Supporting and Including LGBTI Migrants: Needs, Experiences and Good Practices” that incorporates the findings of the first phase of the Epsilon project that follows in depth fieldwork involving LGBT migrants, refugees and professionals that was carried out in 5 countries in Greece, the UK, the Netherlands, Italy and Cyprus. Dr Theo Gavrielides, Director of the IARS International Institute and Coordinator of the Epsilon Partnership said “ Epsilon Partnership is proud to release this e- book that responds to two of the most current and urgent educational needs in Europe: the rise in migrant and refugee numbers and the persistent inequality and persecution of LGBTI individuals. The launch of this unique resource at this pan-european event is only the first step towards our efforts to help tackle persistent inequality and prosecution of one of the most vulnerable groups at home and abroad”..

Presentations concerning the situation of LGBT refugees and migrants both in Greece and Norway will be delivered by Ms. Eleni Petraki, Public Relations and Communication Office, Asylum Service and by Ms. Monica Strand Korgerud, LGBT activist, respectively.

Next, Ms. Rosa Heimer, Equalities Projects Coordinator of the IARS International Institute (United Kingdom), will present the “EpsiLon” project (you can download her presentations here). Furthermore, project partners will report on the results of the research study called “LGBT refugees and migrants in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus and Italy”.

Then, the conference will feature two panel discussions. The first panel of speakers will deal with the topic of “Reception and Support of LGBT Refugees and Migrants” with the participation of representatives from the Transgender Support Association (S.Y.D.) along with the organisations Colour Youth, Praksis, Solidarity Now, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) and LGBT Asylum Support Foundation. The second panel will involve LGBT refugees and migrants, who will share their personal stories.

Participation in the conference is free.

 

For further information, please contact Ms. Ioanna Markou, e-mail: markou.i@kmop.gr, mob: 6937 211929

For more details about the conference, you can also visit the following pages:

https://www.facebook.com/events/841593202664494

https://kmop.gr/index.php/news-and-events/308-lgbt-refugees-and-migrants-the-situation-in-greece-and-in-europe-international-conference

·         The e-book Supporting and Including LGBTI Migrants: Needs, Experiences and Good Practices” can be downloaded for free here http://www.epsilonproject.eu/e-books/

·         Epsilon has its own dedicated website www.epsilonproject.eu

·         The Programme is funded by the Erasmus+ Key Action 2 In the field of Youth under the 2016-1-UK01-KA204-024317 agreement

·         Epsilon

·         If you wish to get involved or join the independent Users Advisory Board contact contact@iars.org.uk .

·         Twitter#epsilon

 

About the “EpsiLon” Project

According to data registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR, 2017), in 2015 1,015,078 migrants and refugees arrived in the European Union, while in 2016 the respective number amounted to 362,376 people. Europe faced the greatest massive displacement of people after World War II. The majority of refugees and migrants arrives in Europe by sea, especially in Greece – 1,030,173 people in 2015 and 2016 (UNHCR, 2017) – and in Italy – 335,278 people in 2015 and 2016 (UNHCR, 2017) – followed by Spain, Cyprus and Malta. The main reasons why such large numbers of refugees and migrants move to Europe include: (a) the Syrian civil war, (b) the ongoing violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, and (c) systematic human rights violations in northern and sub-Saharan African countries. Therefore, the use of force on a collective and individual basis is actually the driving force making those people move away from their countries. Moreover, fundamental human rights abuse, like the freedom of sexual identity choice, is another serious reason why many LGBT people (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) are compelled to leave their countries, given that they are subject to discrimination, they suffer violence and they are often persecuted because of their sexual orientation.

Taking into account the above-mentioned facts, the project “EpsiLon: Equipping Professionals for Supporting LGBT Refugees”, aims at improving the lives of LGBT refugees and migrants, who form one of the most vulnerable groups in modern Europe. Within this framework, an innovative educational programme will be developed, intended for professionals and volunteers working with migrants and refugees across Europe. This educational programme, based on the real needs of LGBT migrants and refugees, will enable both professionals and volunteers to better address issues of dignity and respect, inclusion and discrimination related to the target group.

In order to achieve this goal, KMOP has developed a partnership with European partners with long-standing experience in engaging with marginalized and disadvantaged groups. To be more specific, IARS International Institute is acting as the coordinator (United Kingdom). Other organisations involved in this project are the following:  Anziani e Non Solo (Italy), Movisie (Netherlands) and Center for Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) (Cyprus)

For more information on the project, please visit http://www.epsilonproject.eu/