£15,000 to support Legal Aid provision in the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, Greece, June 2020
LAP members approved a grant of £15,000 towards Oxfam’s support of the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) to improve Legal Aid provision in the Lesvos refugee camp. People seeking asylum on the Greek islands have to navigate a complex legal system, with changes occurring on a weekly basis, making it difficult for even the most well-informed within the system to keep track. For people who are unaware of their rights, suffering from severe trauma, health issues and disabilities, or with limited literacy, it is nearly impossible to navigate in these procedures. Substandard living conditions, lack of medical care and information have heightened people’s vulnerability and uncertainty.
Through this project, Oxfam and GCR are working to ensure direct protection and legal aid services to asylum seekers on the island and advocate for better living conditions and upholding the human rights of asylum seekers.
£15,000 to Oxfam towards funding of University of Nairobi Strategic Legal Mechanisms for delivering Social and Economic Justice in Africa Conference, October 2019
Members approved a £15,000 grant towards this conference in October 2019, which was highly successful. The grant enabled attendance at the conference by delegates from around Africa who would not otherwise be able to attend but whose presence ensured wider diversity of experience and discussion at the conference. The two-day conference covered topics such as strategies that make for successful strategic litigation, learning opportunities from cases across Africa, strategic litigation as a part of a broader strategy for influencing change, challenges and risks, financing strategic litigation and enforcement of judgements; all in the areas of Women’s Rights, Health & Environment Rights, Oil, Gas & Minerals and Human & Peoples’ Rights.
£15,000 to the Equal Rights Trust and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan: The £15,000 donation from our Justice Fund was used to leverage matched funding of £300,000 from the EU. This was used by the Equal Rights Trust and the Human Rights Commission in Pakistan to:
- Increase the capacity of civil society lawyers to advise victims of discrimination in Pakistan; and
- Strengthen the mechanisms through which the individuals in need of such advice may access it safely.
£15,000 to Oxfam in Greece’s Legal Aid Project, December 2018-October 2019: In November 2018, our members voted in favour of making a donation from the Justice Fund of £15,000 to Oxfam in Greece in order to continue to support their work in aid of asylum seekers on the island of Lesvos. This was used to:
- Contribute towards the launch of a legal information dissemination scheme in order to ensure that information on the asylum system and seeking sanctuary is made accessible and comprehensible to newly arrived asylum seekers of all nationalities, who are likely otherwise to struggle to understand the complex and ever-changing rules and what services may be available to assist them.
- Fund a Greek asylum lawyer through Greek Council for Refugees GCR) in order to ensure early and meaningful access to free and independent legal advice for asylum seekers in advance of their asylum interviews and assistance with reunification applications under the Dublin Regulation (as well as for detainees and unaccompanied minors wrongly registered as adults).
Between April and October 2019, Oxfam in Greece distributed more than 10,500 leaflets in 10 different languages to newly arrived asylum seekers through the many NGOs operating on the island. In the same time, the LAP-funded lawyer in GCR’s team assisted 1667 beneficiaries, through individual and group advice sessions. Read the full report.
Mary Sunday v Nigeria: Members donated funding of $30,000 to enable the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (alongside the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre) to initiate a case on behalf of a woman called Mary Sunday, who suffered severe injuries and burns after an attack by her fiancé. In May 2018, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States handed down its final decision, finding that Nigeria had violated the victim’s rights under Article 7 of the African Charter and awarding compensation of 15 million Naira. You can read more about the case here.
Oxfam in Greece’s Legal Aid Project, October 2017-February 2018: Members donated funding of €10,000 to support the Greek Council for Refugees in the delivery of free legal and social assistance to asylum seekers stranded on the island of Lesvos, who would otherwise struggle to access the advice they need to make a claim for asylum or reunification with family in other EU countries. This was used to cover the cost of one lawyer for 5 months between October 2017 and February 2018. In this time, they were able to open 65 new cases and supply information, counselling or representation to almost 100 individuals. You can read more about this work here.