RefuComm recently carried out research on the Greek Island of Chios in partnership with Translators without Borders. The aim of the study was to investigate information provision and comprehension for refugees on the island.
The study found that there was no information provided for or accessible by refugees. This finding is in line with those of other human rights organisations working in the area. The authorities and organisations in charge of information provision have not been able to provide refugees with information in suitable formats. As of August 1st 2017, many of these organisations have left the Greek Islands because their funding has been stopped.
Refugees repeatedly raised the question of whether the absence of information about the asylum process was a result of incompetence from those tasked with providing it, or whether the lack of information was a deliberate attempt to leave refugees unprepared for asylum interviews, and thus less likely to be granted asylum.
The study further found that refugees experience significant difficulty in understanding the information provided. Format was an issue for those unable to read, whilst the lack of internet connectivity in refugee camps and inability to purchase data for mobile phones meant that information available on the internet was also inaccessible. The majority of refugees preferred information available in video format.
The study was carried out by interviewing 100 refugees, both male and female, living on Chios island. Researchers interviewed members of the three main ethnic groups on the Island, each in their preferred language: Arabic, Farsi or Urdu.
Evidence showed that women, unaccompanied minors and people who don't read in particular, appreciated the direct availability of the information.
We believe we have found the ideal solution to the lack of information provision about the Greek asylum process. This comes in the form of micro SD cards pre-loaded with all of the information from our website in both document and video form.
Micro SD cards are fantastic because they can provide all the necessary information in one place, with no need for internet connection so it doesn't waste precious data allowance, nor take forever to load the videos and audio files, and people can save copies of their important documents in the spare storage space.
Finally, the SD cards can also be removed from the phones and hidden in case of phone confiscation by the authorities.
These videos provide a short insight into our findings and the effectiveness of the SD cards we provided:
We are now planning to roll out approximately 3,000 micro SD cards to refugees who arrived on the Greek Islands this year.
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