Urgent Funding Appeal
Please help us continue to provide urgently needed free legal assistance to asylum seekers in Moria Camp, Lesvos, Greece.
European Lawyers in Lesvos is an independent, charitable non-profit organisation. Our team of Greek asylum lawyers and volunteer European asylum lawyers provide free, independent legal assistance to asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesvos.
In the last two years, we have provided free legal assistance to over 5,400 people.
Our work has a real impact and demonstrates the importance of asylum seekers having access to legal assistance: of the asylum seekers we have assisted and who have notified us of the outcome of their asylum application, 74.7% have been granted asylum, compared to an average of 46.5% in Greece.
There are approximately 7,000 asylum seekers in Moria Camp (far exceeding the official capacity of 2,000), the majority of whom are from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. Many of these often severely traumatised, ill or injured people have a limited understanding about their legal rights, the complex and ever-changing asylum process and the criteria applied when their asylum applications are assessed.
The situation is getting worse, as numbers of arrivals are increasing: almost four times as many people arrived on Lesvos in the first five months of 2018 as in the same period in 2017. All of these people, plus the thousands who are expected to arrive over summer, require legal assistance. Unfortunately, however, there are very few lawyers available to assist these people.
Each asylum seeker must attend an asylum interview, which determines whether or not they will be granted asylum. However, there is no state-provided legal aid available to asylum seekers before their asylum interview. We are one of very few organisations that provides asylum seekers with free legal assistance in order to be prepared for this vitally important interview. We also help reunite families by assisting with family reunification applications under the Dublin Regulation.
To respond to the increasing needs, we are urgently seeking additional funds to ensure our work can continue and as many asylum seekers as possible can receive free legal assistance from our team of asylum lawyers.
As our organisation is volunteer-based, our operational costs are low: it costs only 50€ to provide an asylum seeker with free, individualised, one to one legal assistance from a practising, experienced European asylum lawyer (on average, each asylum seeker receives at least 8 hours of legal assistance). We are not funded by the EU or the Greek Government.
Please help us by donating using the button below.
Our volunteer lawyers support, and work closely with, their colleagues from the Greek Bar Association.
Thank you for your support.
Philip Worthington Managing Director European Lawyers in Lesvos gGmbH 17 May 2018