Providing First and Second Instance Legal Assistance

GCR provides free legal assistance to those in need of international protection or belonging to particularly vulnerable groups (unaccompanied minors, victims of torture or other forms of violence, victims of trafficking, etc.). Apart from other legal actions, GCR’s lawyers support beneficiaries at all stages of the asylum procedure, both in the first and second instance, following an examination of the conditions for the recognition of refugee status. Hence, they represent beneficiaries in all legal proceedings before the Greek and International Courts in support of their rights. Indicatively, GCR undertakes objections against detention, applications for annulment and suspension before the competent courts, appeals and applications for interim measures before the European Court of Human Rights on violations of the European Convention on Human Rights, support for criminal and civil cases directly linked to their status as refugees or their vulnerability, etc.

Running

Legal aid during the administrative appeal process

Implementation Period:

1/1/2018 - 30/6/2018

Partner:

UNHCR

Location:

Athens, Corinth

Goals:

To provide legal assistance during the administrative appeal procedure before the Appeals Committee in Athens and Corinth

Actions:

-Legal assistance to fully meet the needs of the Board of Appeal

-Depending on the availability of program  and due to the reduced demand at the appeals stage, legal assistance may be given during the process of recording and examining the international protection case before the Asylum Service primarily in cases of unaccompanied minor children and in family matters. reunification in accordance with Dublin Regulation 604/2013 / EU.

-If there is additional availability, legal assistance is given, in the order of priority, in family unit cases beyond the Dublin Regulation, to vulnerable persons, as well as to detention issues and cases involving relevant administrative decisions and administrative treatment for the above categories of persons before administrative and judicial authorities.

-GCR also objects to the Appeals Committee's decisions rejecting the judiciary.

-Support for Asylum Registry lawyers

Results:

The program gradually ceased to operate in 2018 as the state assumed support during the appeal process through the lawyers of the Asylum Registry. Through the program, GCR provided asylum support and counseling to lawyers.

Providing legal support to people in detention

Implementation Period:

1/1/2018 - 31/12/2020

Partner:

UNHCR

Place of implementation:

Athens, Thessaloniki

Goals:

To provide legal support and information to people in need of international protection, with particular emphasis on those in detention in Attica and Northern Greece.

Actions:

-A team of lawyers, social workers and interpreters visit detention centers and provide legal and social support.

- Provision of specific legal information and assistance to facilitate access to the asylum procedure, registration of the request, preparation for interviews, pleadings, appeals, subsequent requests, family reunification process through Dublin III, cancellation requests need international protection and are in custody.

-Objections against detention before administrative and judicial authorities

- Providing legal assistance and information to people with special needs in custody

- Identification of juvenile detainees and providing legal information and assistance.

Results:

Providing legal and social support to detainees in order to facilitate their access to the asylum procedure.

Providing legal support to people in detention

Period of implementation:

1/1/2018 - 31/12/2020

Collaborators:

ICRC

Country of implementation:

Greece

Goals:

Providing legal support and information to people in need of international protection, with particular emphasis on those in detention in Attica and the rest of Greece.

Actions:

  • A team of lawyers and interpreters visit detention centers and provide legal and social support to clients upon written notice from the ICRC.
  • Provide specific legal information and assistance with the aim of facilitating access to the asylum procedure, recording the request, preparing for interviews, submissions, appeals, subsequent requests, family reunification process through Dublin III, cancellation requests international protection and are in custody.
  • Objections against detention before administrative and judicial authorities
  • Providing legal assistance and information to people with special needs in custody
  • Identification of juvenile detainees and providing legal information and assistance.

Results:

Providing legal and social support to detainees in order to facilitate their access to the asylum procedure.

Completed

Legal Aid in the Appeal Process 2017

Implementation Period:

1/1/2017 - 31/12/2017

Partner:

UNHCR

Location:

Athens, Thessaloniki, Evros, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Leros

Goals:

To provide legal assistance during the administrative appeal process before the Appeals Committee in Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes and Evros.

Actions:

-Legal assistance to fully meet the needs of the Board of Appeal before the Board of Appeal

-Depending on the availability of program lawyers due to the reduced demand at the appeals stage, legal assistance may be given during the process of recording and examining the international protection case before the Asylum Service primarily in cases of unaccompanied minor children and in family matters. reunification in accordance with Dublin Regulation 604/2013 / EU.

-If there is additional availability, legal assistance is given, in the order of priority, in family unit cases beyond the Dublin Regulation, to vulnerable persons, as well as to detention issues and cases involving relevant administrative decisions and administrative treatment for the above categories of persons before administrative and judicial authorities.

GCR objects to the Appeals Committee's decisions rejecting the judiciary.

Results:

Ensuring the right to free legal aid for asylum seekers.

Providing legal support to people in detention

Implementation Period:

1/1/2016 - 31/12/2016, 1/1/2017 - 31/12/2017

Partner:

UNHCR

Place of implementation:

Athens

Goals:

To provide legal support and information to persons in need of international protection, with particular emphasis on those in detention in Attica and Northern Greece.

Actions:

  • A team of lawyers and interpreters visit detention centers and provide legal and social support to clients upon written notice from the ICRC.
  • Provide specific legal information and assistance with the aim of facilitating access to the asylum procedure, recording the request, preparing for interviews, submissions, appeals, subsequent requests, family reunification process through Dublin III, cancellation requests international protection and are in custody.
  • Objections against detention before administrative and judicial authorities
  • Providing legal assistance and information to people with special needs in custody
  • Identification of juvenile detainees and providing legal information and assistance.

Results:

Providing legal and social support to detainees in order to facilitate their access to the asylum procedure.


Providing legal services in Samos

 


Period of implementation:

1/01/2018 - 31/3/2018

Collaborators:

Doctors Without Borders - France

Country of implementation:

Greece

Goals:

Providing protection and legal support to asylum seekers and people in need of international protection by securing access to services that are primarily appropriate to them through legal support services.

Actions:

  • Cases supported by MSF psychologist by written reference
  • Individual cases through the asylum procedure to improve access to the protective framework
  • Assistance with the decision to detain or restrict free decisions to the servants
  • Vulnerable cases, especially those that are not treated as such by the asylum service

Results:

Providing information, protection and legal support to asylum seekers in Samos in the first instance (and second) and representation in court, access to family reunification procedures in cases with they require international protection. Extra protection for beneficiaries if their detention needs to be addressed.

Providing legal services in Chios

Period of implementation:

01/08/2017- 31/01/2019

Collaborators:

Doctors Without Borders - France

Country of implementation:

Greece

Goals:

Providing protection and legal support to asylum seekers and people in need of international protection by securing access to services that are primarily appropriate to them through legal support services.

Actions:

  • Cases supported by MSF psychologist by written reference
  • Individual cases through the asylum procedure to improve access to the protective framework
  • Assistance with the decision to detain or restrict free decisions to the servants
  • Vulnerable cases, especially those that are not treated as such by the asylum service

Results:

Providing information, protection and legal support to asylum seekers in Chios in the first instance (and second) and representation in court, access to family reunification procedures in cases with they require international protection. Extra protection for beneficiaries if their detention needs to be addressed.

Provision of legal and psycho-social services to vulnerable refugees & asylum seekers in Northern Greece

Period of implementation: 01/10/2016 - 15/03/2017
Collaborators: Save the Children
Country of implementation: Greece
Aims: The overall goal of the project is to enable vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in Northern Greece to exercise their legal and social rights and to ensure access to their enjoyment. Within this framework, GCR proposes a project which will support asylum seekers and persons in need of international protection to access the protective services they deserve. This will be attained through the proposed holistic services and activities hereby outlined. The beneficiaries of the project are persons in need of international protection in the sites of Softex and Frakaport (currently closed) around the territorial division of Thessaloniki, with a particular focus on the identification and support of those most vulnerable amongst them, such as UASC, single-headed families, families with members who have health issues and/or disabilities, and families with many members. Unaccompanied children are considered to be an extremely vulnerable group considering the lack of appropriate alternative care and protection, and the inadequacy of legal and psycho-social supporting mechanisms. All the activities outlined in the proposal will commence immediately, due to the emergency situation that the project addresses.
Activities:
  • Provision of legal information and counselling: Vulnerable beneficiaries will be informed on his/her rights and receive advice.
  • Interview and assessment of cases.
  • Provision of legal aid: Beneficiaries with a valid claim for asylum will be supported throughout the asylum procedure (where applicable, considering the time-consuming asylum procedures).
  • Provision of psycho-social support, identification and counselling to the most vulnerable amongst them.
  • Representation of asylum seekers before first instance asylum procedure (where applicable).
  • Provision of interpretation services.
Results:
  • Provision of legal information, legal counselling and aid.
    • First level: Legal Information Two teams will be based in two different camps, providing on the spot legal information and psycho-social counselling. At this stage an initial assessment and prioritisation of vulnerable cases will be made.
    • Second level: Legal Counselling Legal counseling will be provided after the initial assessment of cases, through provision of individualised sessions to beneficiaries. Attention will be given to particularly vulnerable persons in need of international protection; and follow up support to their access to asylum service, thus enhancing their protection. This step will largely depend on the arrangements by the state regarding their access to asylum services. Legal assistance of persons in the specific sites will be governed by the principle of prioritising the relevant cases based on the vulnerability level that will be assessed in consultation with the social unit of the team.
    • Third level: Legal Aid Legal sessions after the initial trimester of legal counselling with further individualized counselling regarding the entire asylum procedure can be provided. The activities will be facilitating individualised support services, with follow up legal assistance throughout the asylum, family reunification and relocation procedures.
  • Provision of information, psycho-social counselling and support The social workers of GCR will provide psycho-social counselling and support, including:
    • the drafting and implementation of individualised action plans.
    • support to all family members of the beneficiary.
    • addressing health issues, through referrals to hospitals and other organisations that provide medical care.
    • provision of financial support in emergency cases, through funds of supplementary projects, or private ad hoc donations.
    • addressing accommodation needs, through referrals.
    • special care for unaccompanied children, such as contact with social services of other EU Member States, where family reunification is involved etc.
Providing legal support to people in need of international protection in detention facilities

 Timetable: January 2015 – December 2015
Project manager: Greek Council for Refugees
Countries of implementation: Greece
 Support: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
 Aim:

The Project comprises two components, seeking to:

a) minimize the risk of detention for persons in need of international protection, through the provision of legal assistance to such persons in detention/ pre-removal facilities in Greece, as well as through targeted interventions, and

b) empower beneficiaries of international protection and promote durable solutions, through the provision of information on rights and obligations for all areas of integration, including, inter alia, socio-economic rights, family reunification and naturalization procedures. The provision of information will be conducted through the operation of an Information Centre in Athens, Greece.

 Activities:
  • Provision of legal assistance in pre-removal/detention facilities, and specifically, in the Pre-Removal Detention Centre of Amygdaleza and Paranesti, as well as other detention facilities, as per need on the ground; the legal assistance provided includes the provision of information and counseling to ensure detainees will be able to exercise their rights provided by the law, as concerns the asylum procedure, and also against detention.
  • Provision of information to beneficiaries of international protection on their rights, obligations and procedures necessary to support their integration into the Greek society, through the operation of an Information Centre.
 Results: With the completion of the project, the Legal Unit of GCR will have handled 610 cases regarding detention. Furthermore, at least 1200 beneficiaries of international protection will receive information on their rights, obligations and related administrative procedures including, inter alia, health/welfare, employment, education, naturalization, long term residence etc.

Provision of legal and psycho-social services to asylum seekers at the Amygdala Pre-Deportation Detention Center

Date:

January 2014 - December 2014

Administrator:

Greek Council for Refugees

Country:

Greece

Category:

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Goals:

Conducting missions at the Pre-departure Detention Centers in Amygdala to identify and support asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups whose detention is arbitrary

Actions:

  • Providing legal assistance to detained asylum seekers at the Pre-Departure Detention Center in Amygdaleza, in particular the implementation of the following actions:
  • legal support in cases where the asylum procedure has been arbitrarily terminated
  • support in cases of family reintegration through the Dublin II & III Regulation
  • support in cases of asylum seekers in need of international protection in order to be released

Results:

Providing legal assistance to asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups detained at the Pre-Deportation Detention Center in Amygdala

Our Efficiency

90% Program services
10% Management

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