We are one of the few providers of legal assistance on Lesvos and have been working inside Moria Camp since August 2016.
Since then, 135 European asylum lawyers from 17 countries have volunteered with us and – alongside our team of Greek asylum lawyers – have provided free legal assistance to over 7,780 people.
Our work has real impact and demonstrates the importance of asylum seekers having access to legal assistance: of those we have assisted who have notified us of the outcome of their asylum application, 74.5% have been granted asylum, compared to an average of 46.5% in Greece.
We are the largest provider of legal assistance to asylum seekers on Lesvos. We are also the primary provider of legal assistance to unaccompanied minors who have been incorrectly registered as adults (over 350 cases in total) and asylum seekers in detention (almost 200 cases in total).
Our main activity is the provision of one-on-one legal consultations to prepare asylum seekers for their asylum interview. We are the only organisation that focuses on providing legal information, practical support and tailored advice for asylum seekers at this crucial stage of the asylum process. We also help reunite families by assisting with family reunification applications under the Dublin Regulation. We receive referrals from other organisations, including UNHCR, Oxfam, IRC, Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde. In addition, we also provide two legal information sessions each month – one in Moria, which is usually attended by approximately 100 people, and one that is specifically for female asylum seekers in a local community centre.
We are one of only three legal assistance organisations that work inside Moria, which enables asylum seekers to freely access our services and guarantees us direct access to those we assist. All assistance is provided in our four dedicated consultation rooms in our container in Moria, to ensure that privacy and confidentiality are preserved. We also operate in the detention centre within Moria.
Our team includes up to six volunteer asylum lawyers, two Greek asylum lawyers, a legally-trained coordinator, two legal assistants, Arabic and Farsi interpreters and a finance manager. We always ensure we have at least one French speaking lawyer, as French is the third most widely spoken language in Moria.
All of our volunteer lawyers are practising and experienced European asylum lawyers who have been identified through a rigorous application and selection process. In total, our volunteers have contributed almost 30,000 hours of voluntary work since 2016.
We have welcomed volunteer lawyers from Greece, France, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Iceland, Lithuania, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, Ireland, Poland and the United Kingdom. Each volunteer lawyer stays for a minimum of 3 weeks.
All our lawyers work on a pro bono basis and collaborate closely with their colleagues from the Greek Bar Associations. Where any litigation is required before a court or tribunal in Greece, contact is made with a Greek Bar or a member of the Greek bars.