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Refugee Integration in Mainland Greece: Prospects and Challenges

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dimitris SkleparisORCiD



This is the final published version of a report that has been published in its final definitive form by Yaşar University, UNESCO Chair on International Migration, 2018.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This policy brief provides an outline of the prospects for and challenges to integration of international protection beneficiaries and applicants in mainland Greece, based on emerging research findings. It focuses on three policy areas, which are key to social and economic integration: (1) labour market; (2) healthcare and social welfare services; and (3) education and training. Structural factors, such as a shrinking labour market, high unemployment rates and an ongoing restructuring of labour relations, as well as various bureaucratic hurdles hinder labour market access. A generally overwhelmed and underfunded health system, the ongoing curtailment of social welfare provisions, and a number of practical obstacles limit access to healthcare and social welfare services. Despite the significant progress that has been recorded in the area of integration of refugee children in Greek schools, some practical problems still persist, while there are still steps to be taken towards their formal integration in school life. On the other hand, limited progress has been recorded in the area of integration of adult refugees in higher education and vocational training programmes. The brief concludes that apart from objective obstacles, various perceived issues of concern among the public, as well as the living conditions of displaced persons who remain on the islands equally hinder the prospects for refugee integration in mainland Greece.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Skleparis D

Publication type: Report

Publication status: Published

Series Title:

Type: Policy Brief

Year: 2018

Online publication date: 02/03/2018

Acceptance date: 01/02/2018

Report Number: 02

Institution: Yaşar University, UNESCO Chair on International Migration

Place Published: Bornova, Turkey