In recent months, thousands of asylum seekers have been transferred from the Aegean Islands to the Greek mainland, where they face an increasingly strict and complex asylum framework, often with little legal support. Our partner European Lawyers in Lesvos (ELIL) opened an office in Athens to provide legal information sessions and assistance with family reunification and asylum cases.
Working in Athens will also allow ELIL to continue supporting unaccompanied children who are moved from the islands. Following the fire that destroyed Moria camp last September, over 500 unaccompanied children were transferred from Lesvos to various locations across Greece, most of them in the middle of their legal procedure. Such transfers still continue, and a presence on the mainland will allow ELIL to follow cases like these more effectively.
Be sure to check out ELIL Managing Director Phil Worthington speaking on Ireland’s National Public Service Media program “The Leap of Faith” (beginning at the 21-minute mark), discussing conditions for children at the temporary refugee camp on Lesvos, Greece.
Phil also gave a talk titled: “COVID-19 and Access to Justice for Refugees, in “The First 24-Hour Webathon in Defence of the Rule of Law,” hosted by the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), International Association of Young Lawyers (IAYL), and the American Bar Association (ABA). Phil’s presentation starts at the 17:44 mark.
Our French partner, l’Alliance des Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme (AADH), partnered with a group of NGOs to submit a communication to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child requesting an enquiry into the treatment of unaccompanied children as they undergo the age assessment process in France. This communication alleges serious violations of the rights of these vulnerable children by the French State.
In Ireland, KIND’s project jointly with Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) and Irish Refugee Council (IRC) Law Centres has recently expanded from assisting unaccompanied children with applications for family reunification, to also providing assistance with applications for citizenship.
The IRC and the Asylum Information Database (AIDA) published an update on Ireland’s asylum procedures, reception and detention conditions, and international protections. Click here to view the report.