We are one of the very few providers of legal assistance on Lesvos and have been working inside Moria Camp since July 2016.
Since then, 144 European asylum lawyers from 17 countries have volunteered with us and – alongside our team of full-time, permanent Greek asylum lawyers – have provided free legal assistance to over 9,000 people.
Through our work, we help uphold the rule of law, protect human rights and ensure the asylum procedure is fair, efficient and robust. We provide legal information and legal assistance to asylum seekers, in order to help them understand the asylum process and criteria, understand their rights and obligations and be fully prepared for their interview. By doing this, we help asylum seekers to go through the asylum process quickly and efficiently and ensure they are able to present their application in a way that fully reflects their need for asylum.
We cooperate closely with other organisations, particularly UNHCR, Oxfam, IRC, Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde, who often refer vulnerable individuals to us for legal assistance.
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 on Lesvos that focuses on providing legal information, practical support and tailored advice to 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 and have helped over 1,000 people be recognised as eligible to be reunited with their family members in other European countries.
In addition, we provide three group legal information sessions in Moria each month – each of which is usually attended by approximately 25 people.
In collaboration with Oxfam and the Greek Council for Refugees, we have also recently prepared a legal information leaflet outlining the asylum process and asylum seeker’s rights. This leaflet has been translated into 10 languages. 13,000 copies of this leaflet have been printed and are being distributed to asylum seekers on Lesvos. Copies of this leaflet can be found here.
We are one of only two legal assistance organisations working in close proximity to Moria, which enables asylum seekers to freely access our services. All assistance is provided in our three dedicated consultation rooms in two containers in the Olive Grove, just outside Moria itself, to ensure that privacy and confidentiality are preserved. We also operate in the detention centre within Moria.
All photos: Cord Brügmann/ELIL