Cite as: Chtouris, S. and D.S. Miller, 2017, “Refugee Flows and Volunteers in the Current Humanitarian Crisis in Greece”. Journal of Applied Security Research 12(1): 61-77.
The refugee crisis in Greece has created a great and sudden accentuation of the needs related to addressing the crises at a regional and local levels. Since early 2016, a refugee flow of over 860,000 migrants into Greece and Northern Europe has been recorded. Currently, 55,000 people have been registered as permanent residents in settlements throughout Greece. Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have been a determining factor in remedying the problem with involvement of hundreds of volunteers and citizens, who became active outside the traditional state frameworks, as well as the networks of major organizations, to create, on-site structures and networks for refugee support. In the framework of Seminar about Sociology of Networks at the University of the Aegean, from March to May 2016 the authors organized a field research. Four research visits and 50 open interviews with volunteers were completed in the areas of Mytilene, Victoria Square, Piraeus Port, and Eidomeni refugee camp, 2016. This article records the forms of cooperation and self-organization between the volunteers as the refugee crisis progressed, as well as their impact on safety and security in addressing the most vulnerable of the groups' issues.