Time for Needs


15 December 2015 – 15 July 2017

Project Partners:

REFUGEES (Lead Partner), Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) (EL), aditus foundation (MT), the BZF (DE), France terre d’asile (FR), Portugese Refugee Council (PT), European Council for Refugees and Exiles (ECRE).

The project is co-funded by the European Union.


The Mediterranean Sea has become one of the deadliest routes worldwide: 1 out of 4 migrants died at sea, has died at the border of Europe. Member States with maritime external borders are under daily pressure due to continuous high numbers of arrivals by sea, posing crucial challenges in providing adequate reception specialized services and procedural safeguards for vulnerable asylum seekers.

Among the ‘boat people’ there is a consistent number of victims of torture and of any sort of violence experienced not only in their home countries, but also in transit countries, in the desert and in the Mediterranean sea.

Smugglers and traffickers do not hesitate to use extreme forms of violence and to kill migrants as witnessed by hundreds of refugees and migrants arrived in Italy, Malta and Greece.

It is generally estimated that between 5 and 35% of asylum seekers are torture survivors.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorders can range from 20-40%, while depression rates can vary from 30-70% of refugee population.

With the Time for Needs project we want to contribute to the identification of special needs of victims of torture and of extreme violence, in particular women and children, related to the asylum procedures as well as the reception conditions and to the development of harmonized protection standards and practices across the European Union for this vulnerable target group.

With this project we want to facilitate the improvement of the efficiency and the fairness both of the asylum system and the standard of protection of victims of torture and extreme violence, enhancing the level of procedural guarantees and tailored reception services for the target group.

To reach this goal, we will carry out a research work, at national and international level through national reports, focus groups, qualitative interviews and expert meetings, but we will also develop a pilot initiative, aimed at developing and disseminating a tested practical tool for the assessment of needs of victims of torture and extreme violence. A victim-centered and gender-based approach will be adopted to elaborate this tools, thanks to the active involvement of the final beneficiaries in the whole project.

We will also identify best practices on legislative provisions and practices in the participating countries regarding identification, procedural guarantees and reception facilities with respect to the target groups, and identification of possible gaps between the EU Directives and the domestic laws.

Based on this practices and the research results we will elaborate common basic standards for the assessments of vulnerability in terms of procedural and reception needs applicable throughout the EU.

To maximize our impact we will share our results through awareness-raising and advocacy activities, organising events and involving key players at the national and European level.