ANNUAL ACTIVITY REPORT 2013 - page 10

even further for all the claims that PRAKSIS created in the field. For when our fellow men and women
are lifting their hands high for a bag of food while the rulers of this country throw up their hands in
despair... at PRAKSIS we roll up our sleeves and get to work.
“Freezing” the law concerning citizenship
A battle, which lasted three years, ended nonetheless in a setback. The basic ordinances of the Ra-
gousi law regulating citizenship were declared unconstitutionalby the Supreme Court. The relevant
clauses concerned the right to vote,in municipal and district elections,for foreigners with a valid resi-
dence permit, and the right to Greek citizenship to the children of foreigners if they either were born
in Greece or had six years schooling at a Greek school. The obvious thing to do again became im-
possible.Children with no official country remain trapped in controversy. And in this controversy, civil
society cannot stand by indifferently. We participate in the Councils for the Integration of Refugees
(PRAKSIS is a member of the Council in Athens, in Patras and on the Pavlos Melas Council of Thes-
saloniki). The voice of these claimants can only be heard if participation is steady and constant. And
this we do, this is what we work on.
A solidarity trip at the AccommodationCentersfor Minor Asylum Seekers
In September 2013, the AccommodationCenters for Minor Asylum Seekers under the program (STE-
GI PLUS+) were brought to life by PRAKSIS: one center in Athens and the other in Patras (in co-
operation with the Greek Red Cross). This program is sponsored by the finance mechanism of the
European Economic Area and is coordinated in Greece by the International Organization for Migra-
tion. In essence, it is an architectural plan of extending the structures for those requesting asylum and
includes activities for the rehabilitation and social integration of those populations/groups. Unaccom-
panied Minors are a population group for which PRAKSIS has been trying to provide solutions since
2011, with the operation of a model center for receiving and rehabilitating unaccompanied minors
in Patras (Drop-in Center). Furthermore, through street workers in Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras,
PRAKSIS attempts to locate vulnerable groups and to direct them to safety either by uniting them
with their families, or by repatriation or by protection at the hostels, thus intercepting international
trafficking, a usual destiny of these groups: slavery, sexual exploitation, even trade in human organs!
PRAKSIS has elected to become involved in its attempt to protect these children and for this reason
faces extreme responses, ranging from full acceptance of these centers to intense prejudice and
detestation against them. However, we are here despite the difficulties! And we won’t turn back.
Perhaps because the concern and urgency we feel to help populations at risk is greater than the
phenomena of racism and xenophobia.
10
InRetrospection
By Tzanetos Antypas
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