We need to talk about Cologne

Following the events that took place in Germany lately, the Greek Forum of Refugees in cooperation with ECRE and the Greek Forum of Migrants prepared a statement the following statement which we support.

We, refugee and migrant communities settled in different EU countries, from different nationalities and backgrounds, strongly condemn the recent sexual attacks against women in Germany. We would like to express our sorrow and sympathy to the victims of these terrible attacks.
We condemn any violence against women, be they nationals or foreigners, perpetrated by foreigners or nationals. Perpetrators should be prosecuted and convicted. It is crucial now to clarify and understand what happened so that people, in particular women, feel safe again, justice can be done, and further violence prevented. We did not flee violence there to accept it here.
We think it is crucial to raise our voices now because we fear that the political and social consequences of what happened in Germany will deeply affect the reality for those societies who welcomed us and for the thousands of innocent people seeking refuge. 
We wish to remind that people arriving now in the EU are looking for a safer life for themselves and their children. Refugees arriving are not dangerous but in danger. It would not be fair for a few individuals to make us forget the millions who are doing their best to overcome all the obstacles to settle and integrate into European societies. Everyday, we are witness to the fact that the great majority of refugees and migrants today is eager to make a better life for themselves, but also to give back to the people who welcomed them.
We call on all Europeans not to generalize based on the shocking events in Germany. The perpetrators, be they asylum seekers or not, are not representative of the majority of people living and seeking refuge in the European Union. Nor should we point the finger at Islam as somehow incompatible with European values or women’s rights as this is a great disservice to the majority of Muslims who condemn this type of behaviour.
We also call on the authorities and decision makers to avoid generalizations that could polarize society. We ask them not to use these events to close their borders or to introduce restrictive policies that will not provide real solutions to the problems faced, but will only expose refugees and migrants to even more danger.
We are grateful to all countries that have given us a new home and a possibility to live normally again, in peace. We are especially grateful to those few who decided to open their doors and follow the original spirit of the Refugee Convention against the temptations of populism.
We thank all the people and organizations who help refugees and migrants, everyday, everywhere in Europe.
We acknowledge the great challenges this crisis has placed on states and social systems. But fear and closure are not the answers.
We ask the European states that welcomed us to continue to do so. Other states should adopt the same attitude.

We are certain that the “welcoming culture” some European societies have demonstrated will pay off in the long term, and provide secure foundations for our societies to grow based on mutual respect and tolerance."

First Supporters

Afghan Academy International (UK) 
Afghan Association (Stockholm-Sweden)
Afghan Community of Greece
Afghan Cultural center in Boden city-Sweden
Afghan Cultural center in the north of Sweden
Afghanische Kultur, Integration und Solidarität (Austria)
African Media Association Malta (AMAM)
Aithiops Socio-Cultural Center (Greece) 
All Africa Association in Greece
Asante (Greece)
Associação de Refugiados em Portugal Association of Nigerian Women in Greece 
Association of Maghreb Arabi in Crete
Association of Arabic Community of Ampelokipi (Greece) 
Association of Cameroonians of Greece
Association of Moroccan Community in Greece
Association of Russian Speakers and Russian Friends of Trikala Region (Greece) 
Association of Syrians Overseas in Greece
Centre for Youth Integrated Development-CYID (Finland)
Community of Ukrainians in Greece
Community of Afghans Immigrants and Refugees (Greece) 
Community of Bangladeshi people in Greece
Community of Cameroon in Greece
Community of Congo in Greece
Community of Ethiopia in Greece 
Community of Ghana in Greece
Congolese Community in Athens
Coordination Group of Afghan Refugees in Turkey 
Enugu State of Nigeria- Association in Athens, Greece 
Ethiopian Community in Greece
Federation of Albanian Associations in Greece 
Greek – Pakistani Association in Greece
Greek – Soudan Friendship Association 
Greek Forum of Migrants
Greek Forum of Refugees
Greek-Georgian Union – Dioskouria
Greek-Indian Cultural Association
Greek-Moldavian Association “Orphev”
House of Syrians in Greece
Iranian Association (UK)
Islamic Foundation (Slovakia) 
Kenyan Community of Greece,
Migszol (Hungary)
Mosaico azioni per i rifugiati (Italy) 
Nigerian Community in Greece
Nigerian Community in Greece,
Nuba Mountains Peoples Foundation (UK)
Organisation Somali Plus (Germany)
Organization of United Women of Africa (Greece) 
Pak Hellenic Cultural and Welfare
Refugee Council Duisburg (Germany)
Refugee Community Seelow (Brandenburg/Germany)
Somali Association in Greece
Somali Community of Malta
Stop Deportation! (Germany)
Sudanese Refugees Association-Greece
Sympathia (Greek Solidarity Group Bremen – Germany) 
Tanzanian Community of Greece
The land of the Stork (Greece)
Umbrella Organisation for Refugees
Union of Egyptian Workers in Greece 
Union of Ethiopians Workers in Greece 
Union of Palestinian Workers in Greece 
Union of Sierra Leone in Greece
United African Women Organisation 
Bridges "humanitarian initiative" Syria 
World Hazara Council-Belgium
Zanzibar Community in Greece


Action for Equality, Support, Antiracism – KISA (Cyprus),
Aditus foundation (Malta),
Association for Juridical Studies on Immigration – ASGI (Italy),
Asylkoordination (Austria),
ATTAC Hamburg (Germany),
British Refugee Council,
Bündnis Gegen Rassismus (Alliance Against Racism Germany),
Coordination et Initiatives pour Réfugiés et Étrangers – Ciré (Belgium),
Croatian Law Centre (HPC),
Diakonie Germany
Dutch Council for Refugees,
Estonian Refugee Council,
European Council on Refugees and Exiles – ECRE,
Forum réfugiés-Cosi (France),
Foundation for Refugee Students UAF (Netherlands) France terre d’asile,
Future Worlds Center (Cyprus),
Greece Solidarity Group (Germany) Greek Council for Refugees Human Rights League (Slovakia),
Hungarian Helsinki Committee,
Icelandic Red Cross,
Immigrant Integration Council of the City of Athens,
Integra Foundation (Malta),
International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC),
Italian Council for Refugees,
Macedonian Young Lawyers’ Association (MYLA),
Menedek (Hungary),
Multeci-Der (Turkey),
My Right Is Your Right (Germany),
OPU (Czech Republic),
PIC – Legal-Informational Centre for NGOs (Slovenia),
PRO ASYL (Germany),
Raoul Wallenberg Institute (Sweden),
Refugees Welcome Germany,
Refugees Welcome Netherlands,
Refugees Welcome Portugal,
Scottish Refugee Council,
Sustainability4Youth (UK)
Transform! Europe
Verein Projekt Integrationshaus (Austria) 
Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen (Flemish Refugee Action)


  • The Forum’s website
  • The Forum’s Facebook page
  • Their Email address – For Support