Over the 3 months GWC’s Legal Office has been hard at work providing essential legal services to the vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. This Office is staffed by asylum lawyers, social workers, interpreters, and a receptionist, and focuses on assisting forcibly displaced migrants throughout their journey from registration as asylum seekers until they are fully integrated in Greece and have the legal right to work as persons granted full protection status. Here’s a look at what the typical legal process at GWC’s Legal Office look like:
Our Legal Office aims to ensure refugees have a safe future by assisting them in accessing their rights to asylum as well as legally reunifying family members across borders, and we’d like to share some of the impact measures of this work over the past three months. From December to February, GWC’s Legal Office worked on over 80 cases on behalf of refugees and refugee families. The vast majority of our cases assist families, and in total the Legal Office assisted 320 total beneficiaries.
The charts below give breakdowns of the beneficiaries by age and country of origin. During the 3-month period, we saw a similar demographic composition as in past periods, but with a slight uptick in beneficiaries from Egypt.
In terms of the nature of services offered, GWC continues to provide a full range of legal services for Family Reunifications under the Dublin Regulation and Asylum Application Support, with the latter category divided into Procedural Case Support, Legal Consultation, and Interview Preparation. The chart below shows a breakdown of the various legal services offered the past 3-months.
The forced migrants we work with in Greece have had to flee from the threat of conflict and persecution, suffering untold loses and trauma. Many of them have additional vulnerabilities that only exacerbate their plight. During the 3-month period, 43% of our beneficiaries had such vulnerabilities. Notably, this figure represents a 139% total increase over our previous averages for vulnerability cases over the past two years of service, which have been around 18%. The accompanying chart shows a breakdown of these vulnerabilities by criteria.
These vulnerability figures also highlight some of the principal ways the services of GWC’s Legal Office work symbiotically with the services of our other core Action Triangle projects. For example, over the past 3 months 35% of our Proof of Vulnerability Asylum Cases have medical-related vulnerabilities. In these asylum cases, our lawyers cannot proceed without medical documents to prove a refugee’s vulnerability. However, accessing the Greek healthcare system can be incredibly challenging for refugees, and this is where our Medical Office comes in to help facilitate this access and allow these cases to move forward.
These success measures represent just one element of GWC’s larger refugee projection projects – all of them made possible through the generous support of partner organisations and individual donations. Thank you for the support!