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Open Society Foundations Support Civil Society’s Response to Refugee Crisis in Europe

BUDAPEST—Recent allegations that George Soros or the Open Society Foundations funded the production or distribution of materials to aid people smugglers or would encourage anybody to leave their own countries are false and lack any facts. The Open Society Foundations continue to support civil society organizations in Europe working to address the refugee crisis in a humane and responsible way.

Building on our 25-year presence in Europe, the Open Society Foundations are supporting civil society in Central and Eastern Europe in countries affected by the refugee crisis, including Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary.

Today, the Open Society Foundations are supporting longtime grantees in their work assisting refugees and migrants and offering new opportunities to civil society responding to the crisis. In Hungary, we support the Menédek Hungarian Association for Migrants and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, which provide, among other services, legal assistance to migrants and refugees. This legal information is vital so people can be fully informed of their rights and avoid exploitation by state or nonstate actors.

In Greece, we support organizations that monitor and document practices at reception centers and borders, including human rights abuses. Also, Solidarity Now, part of the Open Society Foundations, runs centers in Thessaloniki and Athens with local partners to assist vulnerable refugees with legal and medical help. In Italy, we continue our work of many years with civil society to improve conditions for recently arrived refugees and migrants and to enable a tolerant and informed public debate about migration. In Serbia, Croatia, and Macedonia, our local foundations and offices support emergency response efforts and longer-term initiatives to ease the crisis.

We join the voices of our European civil society partners demanding a common European approach to find a sustainable solution on the basis of solidarity, and in line with international laws and human rights commitments.


The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. Working with local communities in more than 100 countries, we support justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.

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